School Bus Safety Tips From a Minnesota Accident Lawyer

Matthew E. Steinbrink - SiebenCarey "Know Your Rights" AttorneyOctober 13, 2015

School Bus Safety Tips From a Minnesota Accident Lawyer

This week is National School Bus Safety Week (October 19-23, 2015).

I have been a Minnesota accident lawyer over ten years and wanted to take this opportunity to pass along some safety tips for motorists who encounter a school bus.

School buses in Minnesota make at least 10,000 bus trips daily. School buses are the safest way to get to and from school. Riding a bus to school is 13 times safer than riding in a family vehicle and 10 times safer than walking.

Here are some tips to ensure our Minnesota students have a safe ride:

  • Always use extra caution whenever a school bus is near
  • Be alert for school children in the area and in the danger zone
  • Reduce speed and be prepared to stop for a school bus
  • Be aware of school zones and pedestrians at or near school crosswalks


It's also important to know what it means when the flashing amber or flashing red lights of a school bus are activated.

Flashing Amber Lights:

  • The purpose of the flashing amber lights is to warn other drivers that school bus is preparing to load or unload students.
  • A school bus driver is required (with some exceptions) to activate the amber flashing lights at least 100 feet before stopping in a speed zone of 35 mph or less, and at least 300 feet before stopping in a speed zone of more than 35 mph.
  • It is a gross misdemeanor to pass or attempt to pass on the right side of a school bus displaying the amber flashing warning lights.
  • Upon observing a school bus displaying flashing amber lights be extra alert for children in the area and be prepared to stop.


Flashing Red Lights and Stop Arm:

  • Red flashing lights on buses indicate students are either entering or exiting the bus.
  • When the school bus is stopped with its flashing red lights activated and its stop arm extended, traffic from both directions must stop at least 20 feet away from the school bus.
  • Motorists must remain stopped until the stop arm is retracted and the red lights are no longer flashing.
  • The only time motorists are not required to stop for a school bus with its red lights flashing is when the bus is on a separate roadway. A separate roadway means a road that is separated from a parallel road by a safety isle or safety zone.
  • Penalties for school bus violations can be substantial. From a fine of not less than $300, to a fine of $3000 and one year in jail, along with drivers license suspension.


If you or loved one are involved in a pedestrian or bus accident it is important to consult with an experienced Minnesota accident attorney as soon as possible. Call or submit your case inquiry online 24/7. We're here to help.

Client Reviews

out of 186 reviews
Jesse Bukal

In need of a personal injury attorney? Well you're if you're reading this you're in the right place. You'd be hard pressed to find more competent attorneys than the ones here at SiebenCarey.

They took my case to trial and an amazing job presenting the facts and fighting for my best interests! Three years ago I was unsure of what my future would bring; now that it's over I can rest a bit easier. With SiebenCarey as my counsel, I believe I had the absolute BEST representation a person could've asked for. I knew that I wanted the absolute best representation when searching for an attorney to handle my case and I most definitely received it.

If you need a personal injury attorney, look no further. Can't recommend highly enough.

Daniel Ball

Really good professionals, they solved my issues in no time using the most impressive and advanced approach. Really good, highly recommended.

St. Paul Local 12

Thanks for everything, your experience paid off BIG!!!

Morgan Petoletti

My husband had an amazing experience with this firm. They listened and took the time to understand our case.

Carly R.

My boyfriend was hit by a car and while all the attorneys he talked to said he didn't have much chance of a case, SiebenCarey took him on and gave him a fighting chance. He's still recovering, but SiebenCarey is making it a lot easier.

Jenna L. at Insider Pages

I have had nothing but great service with these guys. They are very knowledgable on a wide variety of subjects and topic. They will help you with any case you need!

Eric Petoletti

Even though I was states away and could only talk on the phone, they listened and did everything that they could to win my case. I felt like I was a part of the family.

Renee Goneau

SiebenCarey is a great personal injury law firm that really cares about their clients.  Highly recommend!

Jazz Smith

SiebenCarey is a professional and dedicated law organization that help accident victim.

Geoff Anthony

I started working with Jim from SiebenCarey after my wife and I were in a car accident a few years ago. We were referred to them by someone in the area and we are so grateful we worked with the firm. Jim and his team were very caring and very responsive to all needs and questions. He made sure that all of our medical bills and expenses from the accident were paid and took care of all of the questions and needs from insurance companies and medical facilities. It was so nice to have someone who was on our side. I would highly recommend working with Jim!

Award Winning Know Your Rights Attorneys

Certified Civil Trial Law Specialists

8 Certified Civil Trial Law Specialists, Minnesota Bar Association
3 Board Certified Trial Advocates, National Board of Trial Advocacy.

2022 Super Lawyers

Also awarded in:
2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008

2022 Best Lawyers in America©

Also awarded in:
2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008.

2022 U.S. News Best Law Firms

Also awarded in:
2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010

Attorneys of the Year

5 of our attorneys have been recognized as Attorneys of the Year