By Jacalyn Sticha
Minnesota State Patrol
— There is a new law requiring a crossing control arm on school buses. This is different from the stop arm/stop sign that extends from the left side of the bus.
This crossing control arm, or gate, must extend from the front right corner of the front bumper and must do so automatically when the bus stops with red signal lights in use.
The purpose is to prevent children from crossing in front of the bus in the zone where the driver cannot see them.
As of Jan. 1, 2013, newly manufactured school buses in Minnesota must come with the crossing arm/gate. However, if you start taking notice, you will see that many of the older buses have been retrofitted with these devices. The appearance, of the arm itself, may differ but the specs and use must be the same.