Answers to Your Questions
Protect our Children!
I D O T • DIVISION OF TRAFFIC SAFETY • COMMERCIAL VEHICLE SAFETY SECTION
Know and Obey School Bus Laws
School is in session again. When you see a yellow school bus be prepared
to stop! School bus laws are designed to protect children, not to make
motorists late for work, late for an appointment or late for whatever is so
important that motorists disregard a stopped, flashing school bus. Consider
this, would you rather be late or be responsible for the death of a child?
The majority of children injured or killed in pupil transportation are
not injured or killed on the school bus, but outside the bus. Most are
struck by motorists who fail to stop for the flashing red lights and
extended stop arm. The area around the bus is often referred to as the
When the red lights at the top of the bus are flashing and the stop arm
panel is extended, motorists are required to STOP at any location. This
includes, but is not limited to, motorists traveling from either direction
on a two-lane roadway; motorists traveling in any lane on a one-way street;
and/or motorists traveling through parking lots.
The only exception to this law is as follows:
The driver of a vehicle upon a highway having
four or more lanes which permits at least two lanes of traffic to travel in
opposite directions need not stop such vehicle upon meeting a school bus
which is stopped in the opposing roadway; and need not stop such vehicle
when driving upon a controlled access highway when passing a school bus
traveling in either direction that is stopped in a loading zone adjacent to
the surfaced or improved part of the controlled access highway where
pedestrians are not permitted to cross.
Flashing amber lights are activated during the
last 100 feet traveled by the school bus before stopping within an urban
area (200 feet outside an urban area). The amber flashing signal lamps serve
as a pre-warning that the bus is preparing to stop. Flashing red lights and
the extended stop arm mean that the bus is stopped to either load or unload
Any person convicted of passing a stopped school
bus will lose his/her driving privileges for 3 months and be fined $150. If
a motorist is convicted a second or subsequent time within 5 years of the
original conviction, his/her driving privileges will be suspended for one
year and he/she will be fined $500.
If you have any questions regarding school bus
regulations, contact the Illinois Department of Transportation, Division of
Traffic Safety, Commercial Vehicle Safety Section at (217) 785-1181 or TTY