Minnesota State Patrol issues bus safety reminders as kids head back to school

As another school year quickly approaches, the Minnesota State Patrol has a few tips for school bus safety.
Published: Sep. 1, 2022 at 8:57 AM CDT|Updated: Sep. 1, 2022 at 7:54 PM CDT
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NEW ULM, Minn. (KEYC) - As the big yellow bus rejoins our commutes, the Minnesota State Patrol is reminding drivers of the law of the land.

Motorists should slow down and pay attention in anticipation of school bus zones and neighborhoods, especially before and after school hours.

Drivers must come to a complete stop at least 20 feet from a school bus displaying the flashing lights and extended stop arm. Under no circumstances should motorists try to pass a bus on the right-hand side when it displays flashing lights and an extended stop arm.

School buses now have cameras to capture all vehicle information of violators.

“If you go through a stop arm when the arm is extended, it’s a misdemeanor violation and if you go through when it’s extended and students are outside the bus then it’s a gross misdemeanor violation, so it’s a significant violation and that’s good, so we can keep all our students safe,” Minnesota State Patrol Sgt. Troy Christianson said.

“It’s scary because not only do we have to watch that child who is getting off the bus, but watch that vehicle as it’s approaching and thinking is it going to stop or not and making sure that student doesn’t walk around that bus,” bus driver Jayne Maday-Hulke said.

According to New Ulm Bus Lines, stop arm violations have already been an issue, and they’ve only had four days of school.

“One incident was on a highway with children outside the bus, and the vehicle didn’t even slow down,” New Ulm Bus Lines General Manager Joseph Rakowski said.

“It’s a serious offense, and if that child is outside the bus, feet on the ground, the fine is doubled,” Maday-Hulke added.