(Mankato, MN) – Local agencies teamed up Wednesday with Mankato schools and area bus companies to encourage safe driving practices around school buses.

Mankato police say that 15 stop-arm violations were issued in the city during last school year.  This year, there has been 12 citations issued since school began.  Mankato Public Safety Associate Director Dan Schisel said he’s signed four complaints for stop-arm violations this week alone.

“We’ve seen a drastic increase in some of these cases, and it’s just too many,” said Pat McDermott, Blue Earth County prosecutor.

Tom Sager, the Director of Business Services from Mankato Area Public Schools said that his interactions with the schools transportation partner’s have revealed two main concerns regarding bus safety.  “The two biggest things they see out there are the stop-arm violations and people following too closely.”

Representatives were on hand from the state patrol, Blue Earth County Sheriff’s Office, and police departments in North Mankato, Mankato, Eagle Lake, and Madison Lake.  The Blue Earth County Attorney’s office and representatives from Yaeger and Palmer bus companies were also present.

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