Officials Remind of Increased Fine for Failure to Stop for a School Bus

School bus Photo: KSTP/File
School bus

September 05, 2017 01:52 PM

School districts and municipalities across the state are reminding motorists to drive safely around school buses, and that the fine for not stopping for one with its arm extended has gone up by $200.

The fine increase took effect Aug. 1. It makes the penalty now $500 for drivers who do not stop for buses whose flashing lights are activated and crossing arm extended. 

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According to the state Department of Public Safety, a survey of 3,659 bus drivers across the state reported 703 stop arm violations in a single day. The department says that in the past six years the state wrote 8,794 tickets for stop arm violations. 

RELATED: Fines to Rise for Motorists who Don't Stop for School Buses

The department's website says at least 10,000 school buses make trips daily during the school year. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says children are eight times safer riding to school in a bus than in any other vehicle.

The DPS website also reports there were 3,396 school bus crashes that resulted in 13 deaths between 2011 and 2015. 

According to the DPS website, which posts legal and suggested guidelines for both drivers and students:

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Motorists

  • In Minnesota, motorists must stop at least 20 feet from a school bus that is displaying red flashing lights or a stop arm when approaching from the rear and from the opposite direction on undivided roads.
  • Motorists should slow down, pay attention and anticipate school children and buses, especially in neighborhoods and school zones.
  • The best way to be aware of your surroundings at all times is to put the distractions away.

Students   

  • When getting off a bus, look to be sure no cars are passing on the shoulder.
  • Wait for the bus driver to signal that it's safe to cross.
  • When crossing the street to get on the bus or to go home, make eye contact with motorists before proceeding.

Credits

Michael Oakes

Copyright 2017 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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