With the start of the new school year, parents and students are being reminded that a new school bus policy is in place that prevents buses from waiting for tardy students.

In the past, buses would sit for several minutes with their amber lights flashing to wait for late-arriving students, then engage their flashing red lights when the students arrived, according to officials from the Sonoma County Office of Education. This practice is now prohibited. Buses cannot stop for more time than it takes to load or unload students and the red lights and stop signal must be activated for the entire time, according to officials.

“I ask all Sonoma County parents to take note of this change and make sure their children get to the bus stop on time,” County Superintendent Steve Herrington said in a statement. “The law was put in place to ensure student safety and minimize traffic disruptions. It will be strictly enforced by the California Highway Patrol.”