The Minnesota State Patrol issued a crucial reminder to motorists regarding the importance of following Minnesota's laws when it comes to driving near school buses.

They issued the following reminder Wednesday on their Facebook page:

In the coming weeks expect to see a significant increase in school buses on our road as districts return to in-person learning.
You can do your part to keep our children safe by knowing the law when it comes to school buses picking up and dropping off our children.
We created a school bus stop-arm safety video to help educate Minnesotans.

You can check out the video above.  It's a great idea for all motorists to review this as every year there are violations of this law, which can lead to student injury or even death.

It is the law to stop for school buses, that is the bottom line. The Minnesota Department of Public Safety reminds everyone that 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. Motorists must stop at least 20 feet from a school bus that is displaying red flashing lights or a stop arm when approaching from the rear and from the opposite direction on undivided roads.

Drivers who fail to do so face a $500 fine. Drivers can face criminal charges for passing a school bus on the right, passing when a child is outside the bus, or injuring or killing a child.

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There's no excuse for breaking this law and if anyone who sees a negligent motorist should report them to authorities immediately.

Parents should remind all students to be very cautious whenever they step off the bus. Always look to be sure no cars are approaching.  If a student sees a stopped car, make sure to make eye contact with the driver before proceeding to cross the street.  Never assume a motorist will wait for a student cross or that an oncoming motorist will stop when they approach the bus.

Personally, I get irate whenever I hear of an incident occurring the involves a motorist violating this simple law.  I think they need to double the fine for this and include loss of drivers license as a punishment right out of the gate.

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