ST. PAUL, Minn. - Failure to stop for a school bus will now cost you $200 more, thanks to a fine increase starting in August.

According to state law, all vehicles are required to stop for school buses when the driver activates the flashing lights and fully extends the crossing arm. As of Aug. 1, motorists who fail to follow this law will be fined $500.

The previous fine was $300.

Authorities say this issue is a real problem -- one that puts children at risk.

In the past six years, law enforcement officials across the state have written almost 9,000 citations for these types of violations.

"Too often motorists ignore the school bus laws or are too distracted that they don’t see the bus picking up or dropping off children until it’s too late," said Col. Matt Langer, chief of the Minnesota State Patrol.

As a reminder, Minnesota law requires motorists to stop at least 20 feet, in either direction, from a school bus that is stopped and displaying red flashing lights or a stop arm.