EAST LONGMEADOW, Mass. (WWLP) – This is back-to-school week and that means the return of school buses loaded with students.

Brittany Sasidharan waited for the school bus with her son on Wednesday morning for the first day of the school year in East Longmeadow making sure he steps onto that yellow bus, safely. “Last year we had a car that didn’t stop at the school bus stop sign. My heart fell right to my feet, I was too far away, he gets picked up in our driveway but he still has to cross the street.”

Thankfully Sasidharan’s child was okay but the close call was enough to scare any parents. Approximately 400,000 students ride the school bus each year in Massachusetts. Children ages 4 to 7 are the most at risk to be struck by passing traffic.

“The two seconds that it takes to slow down and stop for a bus, it’s not going to add much to their commute, but it will get our kids safely to school.” Brittany Sasidharan, parent in East Longmeadow

The fine for illegally passing a school bus is a maximum of $200. Repeat offenders may have their licenses suspended.