Question: Recently you talked about the stop arm on a school bus. My question is, if a school bus is stopped on an undivided highway, with the red lights flashing but no stop arm extended, may I proceed around the bus after I stop and it is safe to do so? (I would guess the bus driver is waiting for kids to come out of the house to get on the bus but are running late).
Answer: Even with the red lights flashing and no stop arm displayed, you must stop and stay stopped until the red lights are turned off.
• Motorists must stop at least 20 feet from a school bus that is displaying red flashing lights and/or its stop arm is extended when approaching from the rear and from the opposite direction on undivided roads.
• Red flashing lights on buses indicate students are either entering or exiting the bus.
• Motorists are not required to stop for a bus if the bus is on the opposite side of a separated roadway (median, etc.) - but they should remain alert for children.
A portion of state statutes were used with permission from the Office of the Revisor of Statutes. 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, MN 56501-2205. (You can follow him on Twitter @MSPPIO_NW or reach him at, firstname.lastname@example.org).