School district official wants to increase awareness of school bus stop-arm violations

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One school district in Pine County wants to remind all drivers: you are not allowed to pass a school bus when its stop arm is extended and the lights are flashing in either direction.

Willow River Area School (ISD 577) recently received grant money for the stop arm cameras from the Department of Public Safety.

School officials say they have 425 students and yet saw six violations in one month.

Three happened on the same day, at the same stop.

“We’re not inventing the wheel, it’s not brain surgery, but we are putting our future generation in danger each and every day,” said Nathan Berg, transportation director for the district.

Berg wants to remind drivers that each close call has the potential to be deadly.

Earlier this year, over 4,000 school bus drivers statewide participated in a one-day survey that counts how many instances of illegal passing bus drivers observe while out on their routes. According to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, 1,003 violations were observed on just that day.