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Extra patrol needed after drivers speed by Perham school buses

Additional law enforcement patrol cars were dispatched to an area northeast of Perham following complaints of reckless driving while school buses were stopped to pick up students.

The location was near the intersection of Highways 13 and 8, on the north sides of Little Pine and Big Pine Lakes.

The Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Office received reports of at least two vehicles not stopping for school bus stop arms. Drivers reportedly went around the stop arms at a high rate of speed, even as children were standing on the side of the road.

The incidents were reported early last week. Witnesses said one person was driving a Chevrolet Impala. The other driver, a teenage girl, was believed to have also driven a Chevrolet, but the exact type of vehicle was not known.

According to Minnesota law, when a school bus is stopped on a street or highway and is displaying an extended stop-signal arm and flashing red lights, a person approaching the bus is required to stop their vehicle at least 20 feet away from the bus.

The driver must not move his or her vehicle until the school bus stop-signal arm is retracted and the red lights stop flashing. Failure to do so is a crime.

Tom Hintgen, Otter Tail County Correspondent