With the school year settling in, the Minnesota State Patrol is reminding drivers to stay alert and watch out for school buses. Area school buses drive more than 10,000 students to and from school each day. Lieutenant Brian Reu with the Minnesota State Patrol says it’s important to remember to slow down and put distractions away:

“So again we just plead with drivers put their phones down pay attention to what they’re doing behind the wheel stay focused on driving and what’s going on around you so everybody can get to work or get to school and get home safe.”

Reu says it’s illegal to pass a school bus with its lights flashing and stop arm extended. He says the fines for stop arm violations are $500, and include charges and greater fines if a student is outside of the bus.