The Only Time in Minnesota You Don’t Need to Stop For School Bus
When you see a school bus with its lights flashing, you have to stop, right? Most times, yes. But, there is one exception to that law here in Minnesota.
The 2020 school year is a strange one and while there's a lot of distance learning going on, those big, yellow buses are still a common sight again in Minnesota. Stopping for them isn't only the safe thing to do, it's the law. But this might be the only time you DON'T have to stop for a school bus when you're on the road.
It'll cost you big-time if you drive by a school bus in Minnesota with its red lights flashing and stop arm out. A violation can run you up to $500, thanks to a new law that went into effect several years ago, after there were several close calls with cars nearly hitting students as they were attempting to get on a stopped school bus.
So, yeah, ya gotta stop when you see a school bus stopped with its red lights activated. But what about if you're on a divided road-- one where there's a median between you and the oncoming lane? Take, for instance, West Circle Drive. There's a lovely green median between the east and westbound lanes. What if you see a bus with its light flashing heading west and you're heading east?
Well, according to this Star-Tribune story, if you're on a divided road, and a school bus is on the opposite side of the median with its lights on, then you DON'T have to stop.
"Motorists are not required to stop if they approach or meet a stopped school bus with flashing red lights that is on the opposite side of a separated roadway, and that includes when there is a short gap for things such as turn lanes," the story says, quoting an Eagan Police Department official.
But that's pretty much the only time. And even then, that situation shouldn't crop up too often anyway, the story also said, saying that bus drivers legally can't allow kids to cross a divided roadway anyway. So the odds are not too great that you'll ever run into that scenario anyway.