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MHP highlights safety as school buses return to roadways

Graphic courtesy of MHP

Graphic courtesy of MHP

Students are returning to classrooms and school buses are returning to the roadways throughout Mississippi. With that in mind, the Mississippi Highway Patrol is reminding you that running a school bus stop sign is against the law. 

As students load and unload at their bus stops, state law dictates that you must wait until the flashing red lights are no longer activated, and the stop sign on the side of the bus is retracted before you can proceed. This applies to all vehicles when a bus stops on either a 2-lane road or a 4-lane undivided highway. 

When a bus stops on a divided highway with a median, vehicles going in the same direction as the bus must stop. 

Under Nathan’s Law, passing a stopped school bus could 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 authorizes a charge of felony assault and a prison sentence of up to 20 years for motorists convicted of illegally passing a school bus that, in the process, results in injury or death.

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. 

As the agency has done in years past, the MHP will conduct 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. 

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