School Bus Math: Illegal Passing = Fines + License Suspension
If you are driving down the road and see a school bus stop to drop off kids, do you know what to do? If you fail to respond correctly, you could find yourself facing an expensive traffic ticket
Illinois School Bus Laws
Illinois Law ( 625 ILCS 5/11-1414 ) provides specific rules for approaching, overtaking, and passing a school bus. Flashing amber lamps provide a warning that a bus is within 100 yards of stopping in an urban area or within 200 yards of stopping in rural areas. When you see flashing amber lights on a bus, slow down and be prepared to stop.
When the bus actually stops, its red signal lamps will flash, and its stop sign arm will be extended. The law requires you to stop at least 20 feet from a stopped school bus displaying these signals. Watch for children crossing the street in front of the bus until they have safely completed their walk between bus and curb. Motorists may not proceed until the the school bus resumes motion or the school bus driver signals you that it is okay for you to proceed.
The “stop for the bus” rules apply everywhere a school bus travels to pick up and drop off kids, including highways, streets, private roads, parking lots, and school property. Here are the specific rules for each type of street:
• One-way streets: All lanes of traffic must stop behind the bus.
• Two-lane roads, with one lane in each direction: All lanes must stop, regardless of which direction drivers are traveling.
• Four-lane roads, with multiple lanes in each direction: Only drivers traveling in the same direction as the bus must stop.
The Bus Driver Can Report You
If you illegally pass a school bus, the bus driver will probably report your license plate number to the police. The police will contact the registered owner of the vehicle. The vehicle owner must tell the police who was driving at the time or pay the penalty themselves.
You Can Lose Your License if You Pass a Stopped School Bus
If you are convicted of illegally passing a stopped school bus, the fine is $150 for the first conviction and $500 for each subsequent conviction. However, that is not the only price you will pay. Your driver’s license will be suspended for three months for a first conviction and one year for a second conviction within five years.
During the period of suspension, you may be eligible for a “hardship license,” otherwise known as a restricted driving permit. This allows to you drive from home to work and any other locations necessary to avoid undue hardship. In order to qualify for this permit, you may have to attend remedial driver training.
An Aggressive Will County Traffic Violations Attorney Can Help
If you have been ticketed in Will County for failing to stop for a school bus, do not just plead guilty and pay the fine--especially if this is your third moving violation ticket within the past year. Instead, talk to an experienced Joliet traffic ticket defense lawyer about your options for challenging the ticket and avoiding the loss of your driving privileges. Call the Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba at 815-740-4025 for a no-cost review of your case.