Becker School Sounds Alarm on Uptick in Cars Passing Busses
BECKER (WJON News) - Becker School has been in session for 33 days. In that time, bus drivers have reported 25 drivers passing buses when their flashing lights are on.
That dramatic uptick in driving infractions has Transportation Director Tom Risley sounding the alarm about being aware of school busses.
I drive pretty much every morning. I had two drivers that, with my yellow (lights on), they're supposed to yield. I had every right to open the door. They had plenty of time to stop. And I waited - I (could) tell they weren't stopping. She was oblivious that I was even parked there with flashing strobes. That happened to me twice. We need to get the word out.
Minnesota Law requires all vehicles to stop for school buses as soon as the driver activates the flashing lights and the stop arm is fully extended. Violations carry a $500 fine and a possible gross misdemeanor criminal charges for passing a bus on the right side, or when a child is outside the bus.
Risley says once a driver has been recorded on camera, they have four hours to report the incident to the proper authorities. Becker School works with Becker Police, the Sherburne County Sheriff, and the Minnesota State Patrol, depending on where the driving infraction occurred.
Earlier this year, the Becker Public School District received a series of grants to outfit every bus in the fleet with both inside and outside-facing cameras. Risley says he reviews the footage from every report from a bus driver and forwards the video along with the report to authorities.