RICHMOND, Ky. (FOX 56) – Schools across the state are back in session this month, which means school buses are full of kids and back on the roads, but the safety measures start before the students even step on the bus.

Shane Lakes, the director of transportation for Madison County Public Schools said, “We ask that students stand back from the road a little bit, a few feet from the road till the bus is completely stopped. If they have to cross the street, we ask them to wait on the driver to motion them across the street.”

He added that it’s helpful if students have a cell phone to shine their light so the bus knows there’s a kid there and that they need to stop. Once the bus arrives, get on as quickly as possible and listen to the driver.

At the Madison County Bus Garage, the safety of the 9,000 students they bus every day always comes first.

“We have a motto here, safety before schedule. if we have to run late because there’s an issue, we’re not going to rush and risk injuring students to get to school on time. for student safety, there’s nothing that can replace a student and we just ask that you be patient,” Lakes said.

Drivers also have a role to play as well. as soon as you see a school bus or the stop sign come out, the first thing you should do is slow down and take a look at your surroundings.

“Anytime you see a yellow school bus, that should associate you with children and people getting on and off and that bus may stop. buses stop anywhere there’s a child to pick up or to let off,” said Lakes.

When a school bus driver stops, she has a 20-step process she must go through to get a student on and off, including things like checking their mirrors and making sure students sit down before moving to the next stop.

The Madison County Bus Garage is currently short 23 drivers and recruiting. If you want to apply for a position, apply on the Madison County School District website.