It’s back-to-school season with most Illinois public schools now back in session. With the start of school comes an increase in the number of school buses on the roadways. It’s important that motorists take extreme caution when approaching a stopped school bus.
When coming to a stopped school bus, vehicles should leave a distance of at least 20 feet to allow students to safely cross the roadway. Violations for passing a school bus include a minimum fine of $300 and a three-month driver’s license suspension for the first offense and a minimum fine of $1,000 and a one-year driver’s license suspension for any subsequent offense.
According to the Illinois State Police, most of the children killed in bus-related crashes are pedestrians, ages five to seven years old, who are getting on or off the bus. A new law, carried by State Sen. Tom Bennett (R-Gibson City), aims to reduce the number of incidents.
Signed into law earlier this summer, Senate Bill 2340 requires that on a route where a child must cross the road, the school bus must be equipped with an extended stop arm with flashing red lights that partially obstruct the roadway. This new law is designed to alert motorists of the stopped school bus so that students can safely make their way on and off the bus. Learn more about the rules of the road and school bus safety at the Illinois State Board of Education’s website.