Alabama state troopers say the new school year has started and they urge motorists to be extra cautious when traveling through school zones.
Drivers who pass stopped school buses now face fines of up to $3,000 for the fourth offense and can have their license suspended for a year.
A revamped school bus safety law, approved in April, increases the penalties for illegally passing a school or church bus that has stopped to load or unload children on highways, roads, school property or private roads.
11 children have been injured or killed since 1998 by drivers who failed to stop for the buses.
The new law does allow drivers to pass a stopped bus if it's on the opposite side on a divided highway of at least four lanes.
Troopers encourage motorists to watch out for young pedestrians