It is hard to believe, but school is almost back in session. The Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) encourages everyone to make safety their top priority, especially in school zones. Drivers can keep themselves and others safe by taking proper precautions, leaving earlier and avoiding distractions. Setting a good example and practicing safety can help create a positive transportation environment.

When Dropping Off:
  • Be vigilant for children moving around and in between vehicles
  • Don't load or unload children across the street from their school
  • If possible, carpool to reduce the number of vehicles at the school
Sharing the Road with Young Pedestrians:
  • Don't block crosswalks when stopped at red lights or while waiting to make a turn. This often forces pedestrians to walk around the vehicle and enter the path of traffic
  • Always yield to pedestrians at crosswalks and intersections, especially when flashers are blinking in a school zone
  • Always stop for crossing guards and patrol officers
  • Don’t honk or rev your engine to scare a pedestrian
  • Never pass a vehicle stopped for pedestrians
Sharing the Road with School Buses:
  • Never pass a bus from behind – or from either direction if you're on an undivided road – if it is stopped to load or unload children
  • If the yellow or red lights are flashing and the stop paddle is extended, traffic must stop
  • The area 10 feet around a school bus is the most dangerous for children; stop far enough back to allow them space to safely enter and exit the bus
  • Allow for a greater following distance behind a bus than if you were driving behind a car
Sharing the Road with Bicycles:
  • When passing a bicyclist, proceed slowly and leave 3 feet between your car and the cyclist
  • When turning left and a bicyclist is approaching in the opposite direction, wait for the rider to pass
  • Watch for bike riders turning in front of you without looking or signaling; children especially have a tendency to be unpredictable
  • Watch for bikes coming from driveways or behind parked cars
  • Check side mirrors before opening your door
New Teen Drivers:
  • Always make sure you and all passengers are wearing seat belts
  • Obey all speed limits
  • Don't make assumptions about what other drivers, cyclists or pedestrians are going to do
  • Always watch for kids getting on and off school buses
  • Don’t drive distracted, that includes cell phone use, putting on make-up, eating, talking to passengers, etc.

Download the Buckle Family Goes For A Ride coloring book to help your family learn learn about safety. Click here to get a digital copy or order hard copies in MDOT's online map store.