A violation that I - both as a prosecutor and an experienced Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney - get tons of questions about concern those little yellow school busses and their stop-signs.
Well, 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, an individual approaching the bus, in his/her vehicle, is required to stop within at least 20 feet of said bus. Then, 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.
What You Need to KnowAnyone who 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.
However, that same person could be convicted 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.
The law is harsh in these settings because the lives of children in danger. Therefore, police and prosecutors take these crimes very seriously. As such, you should, if you ever find yourself charged with illegally passing a school bus, should talk with an experienced Minnesota Traffic Attorney . The Rolloff Law Office can walk you through the steps of your case and plot a course for successful defense. Call today to set up a FREE CONSULTATION: (612) 234-1165