School buses will take to Grundy County roads this month and keeping children safe when entering and exiting the bus is a top priority for local law enforcement.
Morris police officials posted a refresher on Illinois laws when it comes to school bus safety. If you are on a two-lane road, both lanes have to stop when a bus displays a flashing red light and an extended stop arm.
On a four-lane road with two lanes in each direction, similar to Route 47 in Morris, only the lanes traveling in the same direction as the bus must stop.
Oncoming traffic in a four-lane road situation do not have to stop, as students are not required to cross 4 or more lanes of traffic to reach their residence per the law. When it comes to one-way streets, all lanes of traffic must stop regardless of the number of lanes of traffic.
Law enforcement officials say they aren’t taking enforcement of this issue lightly, stating verbal warnings for school bus passing violations are not given out and a violation can result in an automatic ticket, mandatory court date and a possible driver’s license suspension.
The Illinois Legislature doubled the fine for running a school bus stop sign in early July, $300 for a first offense and $1,000 or more for a second offense. In addition to an increase in fines, other legislation is in the works to improve bus safety.
SB 1338 would allow school districts to attach an additional stop arm on the side of their bus that would stick into the opposing lane of traffic displaying a large stop sign.
For questions on school bus safety, visit Morris Police Department’s Facebook where you can find helpful diagrams and tips.