Thousands of children in Minnesota will be heading back to school this week or next week, which means you will soon see those bright yellow buses all over the roads. In fact, throughout the state buses make more than 10,000 trips each and every day, so odds are you are going to see a few during your daily commute.
Unfortunately, people aren’t always patient when it comes to legally following and passing a bus. Not only is that dangerous, but it can result in a traffic ticket. Today, we take a closer look at the laws surrounding school buses in Minnesota.
Passing a School Bus in Minnesota
Over the past five years there have been 533 crashes involving school buses in Minnesota. The crashes have resulted in seven deaths, although thankfully none of the deaths have involved school bus riders. That’s not to say there haven’t been any close calls, however.
There are a number of different rules and regulations drivers must remember when approaching and passing a school bus. Here are some of the rules to keep in mind if you want to avoid a ticket:
- When approaching a stopped school bus with its stop signal extended and flashing red lights, you must stop at least 20 feet behind the bus.
- You are not allowed to continue until the stop-signal is retraced and the red lights are off.
- You may not pass a bus on the right when the bus is displaying its pre-warning flashing signals or its red flashing lights.
- Illegally passing on the right will earn you a misdemeanor ticket of no less than $300.
- You are not required to stop if the bus is on the opposite side of a separate roadway, but you must stop if the road is not separated.
- Reduced school zone speeds are in effect when children are present. Children don’t need to be outside at lunch or at recess to be considered “present.”
- Yield to students crossing the street, school cross guards, pedestrians or anyone entering a roadway at marked and unmarked crosswalks.
- Parents, talk to your children about waiting for, entering and exiting the bus. Make sure they remain aware of the surroundings and they always safely enter and exit the bus.
If you want to further your knowledge of school bus laws in Minnesota, we recommend taking our quiz on school bus laws. Some of the tips in this blog can help you answer some of the questions found in the quiz. Good luck!