Hattiesburg schools urge drivers to respect buses

As students return to class, officials from the Hattiesburg School district say motorists are not exercising proper caution around school buses.

Bus drivers said there have been several instances where vehicles do not stop for school buses picking up or dropping off students. Officials said that could lead to an accident if motorists are not more careful.

"Motorists need to be aware that once that stop sign is deployed, they must stop," said Audrea Barnes, transportation director for Hattiesburg schools. "We have children trying to cross the street, trying to get home, trying to board the bus, and children are being children. They're not always watching."

Passing a school bus with the stop sign deployed is punishable by a fine of at least $200 and one year in jail.