Nothing is more important that helping our children get to and from school safely

Published 5:20 pm Saturday, August 11, 2018

School is back in session and that means much more than just football games on Friday night, homework during the week and waking up earlier than students did during the summer.

It means school buses are back on our roadways in Warren County and Vicksburg and drivers should be more mindful of that fact, especially in the morning and afternoons.

Drivers should be aware of the posted speed limits in school zones, but also cautious and obey the laws when buses are loading and unloading students. Children will be crossing roadways and may not be paying attention to vehicular traffic, while at the same time, drivers should be more aware and obey the law and never pass a stopped school bus. That means, don’t be distracted by your cell phone.

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Nathan’s Law, named for a 5-year-old Jones County boy who was killed by a driver passing a stopped school bus, has increased the severity of the penalty for anyone who passes a stopped school bus in Mississippi. The danger of passing a stopped school bus could be catastrophic, but also costly financially even if a child is not tragically struck by a vehicle.

Motorists should also stop at least 10 feet in front of and behind a stopped school bus while it is loading and unloading students and the flashing red lights and stop sign arm are engaged.

Some things to keep in mind for parents is to realize the school bus driver is in charge of allowing your child to cross the roadway and will instruct the student when it is safe to cross. According to Vicksburg Warren School District transportation director Robert Bass, parents should remind students to look at the school bus driver for instructions when it is safe to cross the street. The school bus driver will signal to the student when it is safe to cross.

All of us – parents, students and drivers – can work together to make this a very safe school and ensure our most precious commodity that attends school will get home safely each day.