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Meg Farris / Eyewitness News
Email: mfarris@wwltv.com | Twitter: @megfarriswwl

NEWORLEANS-- Where your child gets picked up and dropped off by the school bus may be changing soon.

A new state law intended to protect children has school systems statewide concerned about how it will work out.

It's a new school bus law in hopes of preventing tragedies that the Wilson family must live with every day -- the loss of 6-year-old Shaud Wilson, fatally hit by a car while crossing the street to his school bus stop in February.

The law states that buses must pull out of a traffic lane and onto a shoulder or parking lot to let children on and off.

Stan Smith, the interim Orleans Parish public schools superintendent, said the spirit of the law is important for the students' safety, but there are unintended consequences that are making the logistics challenging.

'In urban settings, a lot of our schools don't have areas where buses can pull in, off of the street and stop,' said Smith.

In rural areas buses would have to make a 'U' turn each time students lived on the right and left of a two-lane highway.

'It potentially could result in additional costs with more gas if they have to go around the streets,' said Smith.

And there is a lot of street construction blocking parking lanes. Add that to the number of companies that supply buses and routes.

'How you manage that entire process with so many providers and so many school operators is going to be a challenge,' he said.

The attorney general's office says the law doesn't have to be implemented immediately, but that school districts have to be working on a plan now.

So what do these changes mean to you and your children as schools open in the next week or so?

The superintendent said right now it's business as usual, but there may be some kinks to work out and there may be some changes in the coming weeks. Your school will let you know about any route changes.

Friday, Orleans Parish school buses will have a 'dry run' of the routes to get ready for picking up children Monday.

Routes could also change in the first few weeks as more students enroll after the first day of school.

Jefferson Parish schools did not give us information on how this law will affect those school bus routes.

'Jefferson Parish Public School System(JPPSS) has every transportation safety measure in place for the safe transport of our students beginning Friday, August 8. The district transports 36,000 students each day. Once the new year begins, the district can begin the process of putting together a plan that follows the intent of Act 654,' said a statement from the school district.

'The district has a Transportation Hotline that opened today (August 5) and will be staffed through August 20. The hotline is set up at the beginning of each new school year. The number is 504-349-8999 and the hotline is opened from 8:00 a.m -- 4:00 p.m.'

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