Editorial: Saving a few minutes is not worth the risk

Published 9:35 pm Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Mornings can sometimes be hectic. You’re running out the door for work or to get your child to school, and just a minute after you get in your car and on the road, you see the school bus in front of you stop to pick up a small group of children standing on the side of the street.

A few streets away, the bus stops again, picking up another group of children for school.

This continues for the next several minutes as you realize you must be traveling the same path as the bus.

The first stop lasted probably about 20 seconds by the time the children loaded the bus and got to their seats. The second stop was at least the same or maybe even a little longer — and so on.

While the first stop may not have been so bad, after the third or fourth one you quickly realize you have to get out from behind this bus, or you will be late to work.

Though it may be tempting to go around the bus while it is stopped, we remind motorists of school bus safety laws, particularly as school is starting for another year.

Instead of going around the bus while its lights are flashing red and its school bus stop arm is extended, another option could be taking an alternate route to your destination. Once the bus starts moving again, look for the closest street you can turn off on as a detour.

Otherwise, if you encounter the same bus every day, start your day five minutes earlier and you could avoid the same problem day after day.

If you decide to tough it out, remember motorists must stop at least 20 feet from a bus that is displaying red flashing lights and that has its stop arm extended when the automobile is approaching from behind or from the opposite direction on an undivided road, according to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.

Motorists who illegally pass a bus with its stop arm extended could receive a $500 fine.

The rules are not much to ask when we remember who we’re trying to protect. Help keep our children safe.