Donna Prince, state coordinator of Mississippi Operation Lifesaver, says the state has a high incidence of vehicle crashes at railroad crossings.
Federal Railroad Administration statistics show that for the year 2001, Mississippi recorded 102 collisions at highway rail-grade crossings. That's 12th-highest in the nation. Alabama had 103, ranking 11th. Texas led the nation with 362.
Drivers need to take special caution as the beginning of school approaches. Safety officials say crashes increase during August because people are driving more, Willis said.
A new state law has added additional safety obligations for a school buses around railroad crossings.
Not only do school bus drivers have to stop at all railroad crossings, Prince said, but they must quiet the passengers, open the bus door and look and listen for oncoming trains.