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Minnesota kid's terrifying near-death is why you look for school buses [VIDEO]

People in this video, ranked: 1) the kid (obviously), 2) the school driver, 3) the driver behind the first driver 5) anyone in the periphery or distant background, 6) the driver who almost kills the kid.

People in this video, ranked: 1) the kid (obviously), 2) the school driver, 3) the driver behind the first driver 5) anyone in the periphery or distant background, 6) the driver who almost kills the kid. MN DPS

This morning's hero is a bus driver.

Actually, probably a lot of bus drivers are pretty swell, both in and outside of Minnesota. Wanna spend all morning with screaming, scheming children while you're behind the wheel of a difficult-to-manuever vehicle and responsible for their safe passage?

NEITHER DO WE.

But we're here to draw attention to a specific driver, the one depicted on a video released by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety on Thursday. Without this driver's watchful eyes and the quick, pointed honk to alert a highway driver he or she was about to kill a student, this story would be a tragedy.

Instead it's a warning:

When buses do that thing where they pull over and turn on blinking lights and extend the "STOP" sign arm, you should 1) be watching the road in the first place 2) think "that must mean something" and 3) slow... the hell... down. 

This near-miss happened in the Zumbrotta-Mazeppa school district area, but this problem is disturbingly ubiquitous: Since 2014, 6,500-plus Minnesota drivers have been ticketed for ignoring a school bus's STOP arm sign. And if that's how many have been caught, imagine how many people have actually done this, endangering both innocent children and their own ability to live without knowing they ended a young stranger's life too soon and/or going to prison for a while.

Thank your bus driver -- hell, give 'em a gift -- and watch out for pedestrians, bicyclists, other drivers, animals, inanimate objects, curbs... really watch out for anything that isn't a text message. Even if your red-hot sex partner sent you something, or you know the perfect Spotify song for your commute, or someone's trying to Venmo you $50,000, no momentary distraction is worth it if your next use of the phone is calling 911 to report you ran over someone's kid.