Warnings for motorists as Minnesota heads back to school

It's the first day back for the majority of state schools on Tuesday.
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Motorists are asked to be on high alert come Tuesday morning, as hundreds of thousands of children across the state return to school.

The new school year gets underway, and the Minnesota Department of Transportation has some words of warning for morning and afternoon commuters.

Commuting delays are inevitable with more vehicles on the roads, exacerbated by the numerous road and lane closures that are in effect across the Twin Cities metro and rest of the state.

Among the ongoing construction projects causing delays in the Twin Cities metro include the lane closures that continue on I-35W south of Minneapolis, lane and ramp closures between Roseville and Blaine, and single lane traffic at the I-35 split in Forest Lake.

MnDOT says that drivers should also be prepared for more people walking and bicycling to school.

The message is being replicated across the state, with Moorhead PD saying they'll be among the law enforcement agencies enforcing school speed zones and ensuring drivers comply with crossing guards.

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It will also be the first school day since Minnesota's new law banning cellphone use at the wheel – except for hands-free device use – came into effect.

And police are reminding drivers, once again, to keep their distance behind school buses when their stop arms and flashing lights are activated.

"With all the excitement that the first day of school brings, please consider morning and mid-afternoon commute delays associated with increased bicycle/pedestrian traffic and simply more cars on the roads," Moorhead PD said.

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Back to school: 2 bus accidents reported

Thousands of students in the Twin Cities and around the state headed back to school Tuesday. Two relatively minor bus accidents were reported. A bus driver was injured in Maplewood when a vehicle rear-ended the bus at County Road C and English Avenue. Minneapolis officials said a few students were aboard a bus when a vehicle hit it at the intersection of 49th and Camden avenues North, but no injuries were reported.