“ASK A TROOPER” by Sgt. Troy Christianson of the Minnesota State Patrol

 

Question: I had a question for the Ask a Trooper segment you do. I’ve noticed that school buses all have the words “School Bus” written at the top of the windshield on the front of the vehicle. Similarly, when the bus is used for a different purpose other than school, the words are scraped off or it says “Charter Bus” or something to that effect. What is the reason for that?

 

Answer: Minnesota law requires the School Bus sign be covered when it is not being used as a school bus. This helps identify which buses are being used for which purpose. It also is a way to signal to the public that the bus will not be making any student stops.

 

More children are killed outside of a school bus than they are as bus occupants. Motorists must anticipate children in a school bus “danger zone” — the area around a bus where most injuries and deaths occur.

 

Follow the law and keep children safe:

 

  • Stop at least 20 feet from a school bus that is displaying red flashing lights or a stop arm when approaching from the rear or from the opposite direction on undivided roads.
  • Remember that red flashing lights on buses indicate students are either entering or exiting the bus.

 

State law requires all vehicles to stop for school buses when the bus driver activates the flashing lights and has the crossing arm fully extended. Red flashing lights on buses indicate students are either entering or exiting the bus. In 2017, the fine for a school bus stop arm/red lights violation in Minnesota increased from $300 to $500.

You can avoid a ticket — and a crash — if you simply buckle up, drive at safe speeds, pay attention and always drive sober. Help us drive Minnesota Toward Zero Deaths.

If you have any questions concerning traffic related laws or issues in Minnesota send your questions to Sgt. Troy Christianson – Minnesota State Patrol at 2900 48th Street NW, Rochester MN 55901-5848. (Or reach him at, [email protected])