It's the Law Not a Suggestion

Guest Editorial

With the new school year beginning, I thought that it would be a good idea to review the driver’s responsibility for when they see children getting on or off a school bus, as well as the Hwy Pedestrian Crossing Lights.

The Law states in MN Statute 169.444 Safety of School Children: Duties of Other Drivers.

Subdivision 1. Children getting on or off school buses. When a school bus is stopped on a street or highway, or other location where signs have been erected under section 169,443, subdivision 2, paragraph (b), and displaying an extended stop-signal arm and flashing red lights. The driver of a vehicle approaching the bus shall stop the vehicle at least 20 feet away from the bus. The vehicle driver shall not allow the vehicle to move until the school bus stop-signal arm is retracted and the red lights are no longer flashing.

Subd. 1a. Passing on Right. No person may pass or attempt to pass a school bus in a motor vehicle on the right-hand, passenger-door side of the bus when the school bus is displaying the prewarning flashing amber signals as required in section 169.443, subd. 1.

     Subd. 2 Violation by drivers; penalties. (a) A person who fails to stop a vehicle or to keep it stopped, as required in subdivision 1, or who violates subd 1a, is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than $300.00. (b)  A person is guilty of a gross misdemeanor if the person fails to stop a motor vehicle or keep it stopped, as required in subdivision 1, or who violates subd. 1a, and commits either or both of the following acts:

(1) Passes or attempts to pass a school bus in a motor vehicle on the right-hand, passenger — door side of the bus; or

(2) Passes or attempts to pass the school bus in a motor vehicle when a school child is outside of and on the street or highway used by the school bus or on the adjacent sidewalk.

On the Law for the Pedestrian Crossing MN Statute 169.21

Subdivision 1.Obey traffic-control signals. Pedestrians shall be subject to traffic-control signals at intersections as heretofore declared in this chapter, but at all other places pedestrians shall be accorded the privileges and shall be subject to the restrictions stated in this section.

Subd. 2 (c) It is unlawful for any person to drive a motor vehicle through a column of school children crossing a street or highway. A peace officer may arrest the driver of a motor vehicle if the peace officer has probable cause to believe that the driver has operated the vehicle in violation of this paragraph within the past four hours.

(d) A person who violates this subdivision is guilty of a misdemeanor. A person who violates this subdivision a second or subsequent time within one year of a previous conviction under this subdivision is guilty of a gross misdemeanor.

     This information may be new to you, but The Rock County Sheriff’s Office has received these types of complaints in the past and when we have a written statement from the complainant, we will be issuing a citation.

Again if you have any questions please contact me at 507-283-5000 or via email at evan.verbrugge@co.rock.mn.us.

 

 

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