Because summer is coming to an end, our Illinois car accident attorneys thought it would be helpful to remind drivers of what to do when driving near school buses, or through school zones. According to the Illinois State Police website, drivers should operate with caution when sharing the road with school buses. The Illinois state laws requires that all school bus drivers stop prior to crossing a railroad, and when doing so, use the warning lights. Drivers should be aware of these stops and should be prepared to stop behind school buses. Other drivers should also always maintain a safe following distance behind buses in case an emergency occurs and the bus needs to back up.
There are also specific laws to protect children when they are being picked up or dropped off by school buses. When buses are stopped with their lights on and the stop arm fully extended, children assume it is safe to cross. In actuality, this moment is where the majority of injuries and fatalities occur due to motorists who don’t stop or illegally pass a bus. It is important to always remember to stop whenever you see flashing signals, red signs, or the stop sign on a bus. All buses have the extended control arm to warn drivers behind and ahead to stop. If you see flashing yellow lights, that means that the school is preparing to stop and you must come to a full stop. Drivers who do not stop can be ticketed. The penalty for a first offense of passing a bus of $150. The second offense within five years of the first conviction has a minimum fee of $500 and a suspended license.
With many kids starting back to school this week and after the holiday, our Illinois injury attorneys also thought it was important to reminder drivers of school zone laws. According to CyberDriveIllinois, a school speed zone is a “special speed limit while passing schools.” On school days, there are more children around schools than on weekends or evenings so the speed limit is reduced to protect children on or near the streets. The legal speed limit in a school zone is 20 miles per hour. Drivers who do not follow this limit will be ticketed.
As the new school year begins, we hope that it is a safe one for students and all drivers who share the road with them. Our Illinois injury attorneys advise readers to practice extreme caution in school zones, around buses, and near children. If you or a loved one has been injured during a school bus or school zone related accident, please contact us to see how we may be able to help you.