Ask a Trooper: Passing a school bus

Q: I read your column, it is very interesting. I’ve got a question that hasn’t been covered in your column, it’s on school bus passing laws. I met a bus just before the railroad tracks, it stopped, of course. I didn’t see any stop arm out, and I don’t think I saw any red flashing lights, so I continued on across the tracks. Then I wondered, was I supposed to stop anyway? This was an ordinary, two lane highway. Am I in some trouble for not stopping? I really don’t know the laws about stopping, and school busses. Is there some place on-line where I can find out if I’m in trouble? I am concerned about this. Thanks much.

A: First of all, thank you. In reference to your question, school buses are required to stop for railroad tracks. In most situations you would be allowed to pass a school bus that is not displaying any red flashing lights or stop arm. But because this was a railroad crossing, you are not allowed to pass anyone. Some areas are set up and designate a spot on the shoulder for buses and other commercial motor vehicles to pull over at railroad crossings so other traffic can continue. As for you being in trouble: I’d say call it a valuable lesson learned.

If you have any questions concerning traffic-related laws or issues in Minnesota, send your questions to Trp. Jesse Grabow, Minnesota State Patrol, at 1000 Highway 10 West, Detroit Lakes, Minn. 56501-2205. (You can follow him on Twitter @MSPPIO_NW or reach him at [email protected])