BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Many students across the region are heading back to the classroom on Monday, and with a shortage of bus drivers plaguing school districts across the nation, AAA Mid-Atlantic is advising motorists to limit distractions and stay alert.

Ragina C. Ali, manager of public and government affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic, said in a release the bus driver shortage could lead to lengthier routes, longer stops, more parents opting to drive their kids and more children walking or biking to school.

READ MORE: Man Shot, Killed In Southwest Baltimore

“While the return to school and our roads will look different this year, our responsibility for keeping students safe hasn’t changed,” Ali said.

READ MORE: Maryland Residents Starting To Get Booster Shots After CDC Announcement

According to Maryland law, drivers must stop at least 20 feet from a school bus that’s stopped in the roadway with flashing red lights, unless they are on the opposite side of a divided highway, AAA Mid-Atlantic said.

Not stopping can lead to a $570 citation and up to three points can be put on a motorist’s driver’s license.

MORE NEWS: COVID-19 In Maryland: More Than 1.1K New Cases & 15 Deaths Reported Sunday

AAA Mid-Atlantic advised drivers to always stop for buses, slow down, be aware of the times when school-age pedestrians might be near the road, eliminate distractions and make complete stops.

CBS Baltimore Staff