Ask a Trooper: What should I do if involved in a vehicle crash?

Question:  I’ve noticed that school buses all have the words “School Bus” written at the top of the windshield on the front of the vehicle. Similarly, when the bus is used for a different purpose other than school, the words are scraped off or it says “Charter Bus” or something to that effect. What is the reason for that?

Answer:  There are different rules and regulations that apply to the vehicle, driver and carrier when the vehicle isn’t being used for school transportation. Minnesota law requires the sign be covered when it is not being used as a school bus. This helps identify which buses are being used for which purpose. It also is a way to signal to the public that the bus will not be making any student stops.

Since we’re talking about school buses, this a good time to remind motorists about bus safety. More children are killed outside of a school bus than they are as bus occupants. Motorists must anticipate children in a school bus “danger zone” – the area around a bus where most injuries and deaths occur. 

Follow the law and keep children safe: 

• Stop at least 20 feet from a school bus that is displaying red flashing lights or a stop arm when approaching from the rear or from the opposite direction on undivided roads.

• Remember that red flashing lights on buses indicate students are either entering or exiting the bus.

Sgt. Neil Dickenson is Minnesota State Patrol Public Information Officer for the state’s northeast region. Send questions concerning traffic-related laws or issues to neil.dickenson@state.mn.us or by mail to Minnesota State Patrol, 1131 Mesaba Ave., Duluth MN 55811. Follow Dickenson on Twitter at @MSPPIO_NE. 

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