SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – As we approach the end of summer vacation, the transition to back-to-school is underway for families across western Massachusetts.

It’s that time of year, those with a morning commute will need to plan ahead for buses and longer stops at crosswalks. 22News spoke with Springfield Police Spokesperson Ryan Walsh who said parents need to outline safety for their kids getting on the bus. Such as looking both ways, and watching signals from the bus driver.

Parents should stay with their kids at the bus stop until the kids are safely on. Students who walk to school should put their cell phones away to keep their focus ahead and avoid distractions. Also, do not use headphones, so traffic that might not be visible can be heard.

“When you cross, don’t assume a driver sees you. When crossing, wait for the crosswalk light to go and actually make eye contact with those drivers before you go, because you never know what’s going through someone’s head and if they actually see you.” Ryan Walsh, Spokesperson for Springfield Police Department

For drivers, it’s illegal to pass a school bus with its lights flashing and STOP arm extended. In Massachusetts, those who violate the law can be fined up to $200.