According to Minnesota law, when a school bus is stopped on a street or highway and is displaying an extended stop-signal arm and flashing red lights, a person approaching the bus is required to stop their vehicle at least 20 feet away from the bus. The driver must not move their vehicle until the school bus stop-signal arm is retracted and the red lights stop flashing. Failure to do so is a crime.
It is also illegal to pass or attempt to pass a school bus on the right-hand, passenger-door side of the bus while the school bus is displaying the pre-warning flashing amber signals.
Minnesota Traffic Attorneys
A person who fails to stop a vehicle while a school bus has its stop-arm extended is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a minimum fine of $300.
A person is guilty of a gross misdemeanor if they fail to stop their motor vehicle and commit either or both of the following:
- Passing or attempting to pass the school bus in a motor vehicle on the right-hand, passenger-door side of the bus
- Passing or attempting to pass the school bus in a motor vehicle when a school child is outside of and on the street used by the school bus or on the adjacent sidewalk
Passing a school bus in such a situation endangers the lives of children. Thus, police and prosecutors take these crimes very seriously. That is why a person charged with illegally passing a school bus should talk with an experienced Minnesota traffic attorney as soon as possible. A defense attorney can walk you through the steps of your case and plot a course for successful defense.