In ignoring school bus law, drivers take aim at kids

You may never see a more frightening video than the one the Minnesota State Patrol has released on its social media platforms, showing the near tragedy in the Zumbrota-Mazeppa school district when a fourth-grader was trying to get on to a bus.

The dangers are real. Watch as a Zumbrota-Mazeppa Elementary School fourth-grader gets on her school bus in January. And watch as the driver fails to yield for the school bus with its stop-arm extended and flashing lights activated. Obey the Law• 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. • Motorists should slow down, pay attention and anticipate school children and buses, especially in neighborhoods and school zones. • The best way to be aware of your surroundings at all times is to put the distractions away. • Drivers can face criminal charges for passing a school bus on the right, passing when a child is outside the bus, or injuring or killing a child.

Posted by Minnesota State Patrol on Wednesday, May 15, 2019

(The driver was charged and convicted in Wabasha County, state officials said.)

Meanwhile, KARE 11 reports that the school bus company in Delano is reporting an increase in these sorts of near misses.

“We are seeing more of the younger side that are running the stop arms so it’s students when they’re coming out of school and they’re not paying attention. They’re checking their Snapchats or talking to their friend in their vehicle. They’re not even seeing you with your lights on they just drive right through,” said Rayme Bernick, vice president of Stahlke Bus Service.

Law enforcement across the state wrote more than 6,500 stop-arm violation citations in the past five years, according to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.

The video doesn’t answer an important question. Is it that people don’t know the law? Or do they just not care about it?