As National School Bus Safety Week approaches (October 16-20), the Minnesota Department of Public Safety is reminding motorists that failing to stop for school buses can risk children’s lives. In Minnesota, motorists must stop at least 20 feet from a school bus that is displaying red flashing lights and a stop arm when approaching from the rear and from the opposite direction on undivided roads.
The department recently released video of an 11-year-old Rosemount girl who was nearly struck by a pickup truck after getting off her school bus, saying the bus driver alerted the girl in time to avoid injury.
Over the past six years, Minnesota law enforcement officials wrote nearly 9,000 stop-arm violation citations. During an annual state survey this year, 3,659 bus drivers reported 703 stop-arm violations in a single day.
As of Aug. 1, drivers who violate the stop-arm law face a larger fine, an increase from $300 to $500.
Motorists are alerted to slow down and stop when approaching a school bus by its yellow flashing lights. Drivers must also stop for pedestrians at street corners—for both marked and unmarked crosswalks.
Find more tips on the state’s School Bus Safety page.