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Fines to increase in Minn. for failing to stop for school buses

ST. PAUL -- Fines will increase Aug. 1 in Minnesota for drivers who fail to stop for a school bus with activated lights and the crossing arm fully extended.

The fine will jump to $500 from $300. In the past six years, law enforcement across the state wrote nearly 9,000 stop arm violation citations, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety said. During the annual School Bus Stop Arm Survey earlier this year, 3,659 bus drivers across the state reported 703 stop arm violations in just one day.

“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. Drivers should always be looking out for school buses and expect those buses to make frequent stops during the morning and afternoon school hours. Pay attention and stop for buses to help keep our children safe.”

In Minnesota, 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.

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