The law requires that drivers in both directions stop at least 20 feet away when they see a school bus with its red lights flashing and its stop arm extended. The fine for failing to stop increased this summer from $300 to $500.
It is important to note that school bus drivers can report these violations directly to the Police Department. The registered owner of the violator vehicle can receive a ticket in the mail – even if they were not driving the vehicle at the time of the offense.
The only time it is OK to pass a bus with flashing lights is if you’re going the opposite direction on a divided roadway (a roadway with an unpaved space or raised median/physical barrier – see diagram above).
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety reports that 1,318 drivers violated school bus stop arm laws in 2016. To date in 2017, the EPPD has received 35 reports of stop arm violations. That is a significant number considering school has been out of session for three of those months.
Please help keep our students safe by stopping for the stop arm.