With the school year underway, be sure to practice extra caution as buses return to Mississippi roadways.
Alongside the Mississippi Department of Education, the Mississippi Highway Patrol has launched Operation S.T.O.P. (Safe Transport Of Passengers) to crack down on speeding and distracted driving in school bus loading zones and school zones. Troopers will conduct saturation patrols in these zones throughout the school year.
According to the MHP, the safety initiative is intended to educate motorists regarding the dangers students face and to create a safer environment.
“Our future literally boards a school bus every day and the priority for our Troopers will be to ensure the Safe Transport of Passengers to their destination,” said Colonel Randy Ginn, Director of MHP. “We urge you to join us as we invest in the future of our state.”
Additionally, running a school bus stop sign could land you in legal trouble. As part of Nathan’s Law, passed by the legislature in 2011, running a school bus stop sign could result in fines of up to $750 for a first offense, and a second offense could land you in jail for up to a year.
A second offense could also lead to the suspension of your driver’s license. The law also states that when a school bus comes to stop, drivers must be at least 10 feet behind them.
Nathan’s Law is named in honor of 5-year-old Nathan Key, who was struck and killed by a car that illegally ran a school bus stop sign in December 2009.