Can you clarify the law regarding passing a stopped school bus?
Actually, the part that drivers need to remember is rather simple. Illinois law states that it is illegal to pass a school bus (with its stop sign arm out and red lights flashing) that is stopped to pick up or discharge riders. If you receive a ticket for this offense, you MUST appear in court. If you are convicted, your driver’s license will be suspended for three months - and even longer for a second conviction.
What about streets that are wider than 2 lanes?
This is a great question and one that always gets asked. Here's the answer... The driver of a vehicle on a road having 4 or more lanes which permit at least 2 lanes of traffic to travel in the opposite direction, does not have to stop upon meeting a school bus that is stopped in the opposite direction. (An example of this is Hawthorn Parkway.) However, you still have to stop if a bus is stopped to pick up or discharge riders in a lane going in the same direction you are.
By the way, the bus drivers also do their part to help educate motorists. When one of them sees a vehicle that doesn't stop when required, he/she will pass the information along to VHPD. We then send a letter to the registered owner explaining the violation. It includes a date and time of the violation, location and a description of the vehicle. The letter carries no penalty nor is it any kind of "mark" against anyone's driving record. It's just a friendly reminder of the law.
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