The Blue Earth County Sheriff’s Office has received several complaints of drivers passing stopped school buses on County Road 17 – also called Madison Avenue — between Eagle Lake and Mankato.

Officials say when drivers come upon a school bus with yellow lights flashing, that means the school bus is about to stop and they need to start slowing down. Flashing red lights mean the bus has stopped and is loading or unloading students, and Minnesota law states that vehicles must stop at least 20 feet from the bus, no matter which direction they are headed or what lane they’re in.

Five hundred dollars is the minimum penalty under state law, and deputies add that not sopping also puts children’s lives at risk.

BEC Deputies will be stepping up patrol and enforcing the School Bus Stop Arm law as well as other traffic violations.