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Bus passengers should not be standing, vehicles required to stop when signaled

Ask a Trooper
Troy Christianson
Sgt. Troy Christianson, Minnesota State Patrol

Question: I know it’s discouraged, but is it actually illegal for students to be standing on a school bus while it is moving?

Answer: Minnesota state law says no person shall stand in a school bus when the bus is in motion. In addition, the aisle and emergency exit of a school bus shall be kept unobstructed at all times when children are being transported.

Stop for school buses: It's the law!

•State law requires all vehicles to stop for school buses when the bus driver activates the flashing lights and has the stop arm fully extended.

•Drivers who violate the law face a $500 fine.

•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. 



•On undivided roads, motorists traveling both directions must stop at least 20 feet from a school bus that is displaying red flashing lights and an extended stop arm.

Traffic traveling the opposite direction on a divided roadway with a separating median such as a cement wall or boulevard is not required to stop.

•Motorists should slow down, pay attention and anticipate school children and buses, especially in neighborhoods and school zones.



•When getting off a bus, look to be sure no cars are passing on the shoulder.

•Wait for the bus driver to signal that it’s safe to cross.

•When crossing the street to get on the bus or to go home, make eye contact with motorists before proceeding.

You can avoid a ticket — and a crash — if you simply buckle up, drive at safe speeds, pay attention and always drive sober. Help us drive Minnesota Toward Zero Deaths.

If you have any questions concerning traffic-related laws or issues in Minnesota, send your questions to Sgt. Troy Christianson – Minnesota State Patrol at 2900 48th Street NW, Rochester MN 55901-5848.  (Or reach him at,