ROSEMOUNT, Minn. (KMSP) - Sixth grader Miana Rhoades was nearly struck and killed by a driver who failed to stop for a school bus in Rosemount, Minnesota last December. The incident was captured on video that was released Monday by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety to send a message to other drivers about the importance of always stopping for school buses.
In the video, you can hear the bus driver say, “Bye Miana, have a good weekend.” As Miana walks in front of the bus, a car approaching from the opposite side wasn’t stopping, so the driver blasted the school bus horn. His quick actions helped save the sixth grader from serious injury or possible death.
During the annual School Bus Stop Arm Survey earlier this year, 3,659 bus drivers across Minnesota reported 703 stop arm violations in just one day. In the past six years, law enforcement across the state wrote nearly 9,000 stop arm violation citations:
2011: 1,391 citations
2012: 1,476 citations
2013: 1,535 citations
2014: 1,674 citations
2015: 1,400 citations
2016: 1,318 citations
Total: 8,794 citations
State law requires all drivers to stop for school buses when the bus driver activates the flashing lights and has the crossing arm fully extended. As of Aug. 1, 2017, the penalty for a stop arm violation in Minnesota increased from $300 to $500.
SCHOOL BUS SAFETY
In Minnesota, motorists must stop at least 20 feet from a school bus that is displaying red flashing lights and a stop arm when approaching from the rear and from the opposite direction on undivided roads.
Motorists should slow down, pay attention and anticipate school children and buses, especially in neighborhoods and school zones.
The best way to be aware of your surroundings at all times is to put the distractions away.
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.