As students in grades K through 8 in Mankato head back to class, a reminder to drivers that it now costs more for those caught failing to stop for a school bus when required.
The fine for a stop arm violation is $500, up from $300 last year. 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.
Blue Earth County Attorney Pat McDermott says over the last school year, 26 such defendants were charged by his office, with the school bus drivers alerting authorities on the vehicles that failed to stop. Statewide, more than 1,300 drivers were cited last year.
“Too often motorists ignore the school bus laws or are too distracted that they don’t see the bus picking up or dropping off children until it’s too late,” said Col. Matt Langer, Chief of the Minnesota State Patrol. “When motorists violate the law, it puts the lives of children at risk.”