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Illinois Police Increase Effort to Catch Drivers Passing School Buses

illinois-school-bus-passingStudents have been back to school for a few months now, but sometimes it is difficult for drivers to remember that it is illegal to pass school buses in certain situations. The Illinois State Police are making efforts to remind drivers that penalties are associated with these behaviors and that police have been instructed to keep an eye out for violators. If you have been pulled over and charged with illegally passing a school bus, you should hire a criminal attorney to represent you as soon as possible.

The Illinois State Police have launched their “Drive Home School Safety Zone” messages across the state after numerous school bus drivers reported drivers violating the laws on a regular basis. Local police officers partnered with state law enforcement to patrol school areas during arrival and departure times to monitor activity and catch possible offenders.

If a school bus has stopped to load or unload children, drivers will know to stop because the stop signal arm at the side of the bus will be extended. It is illegal for drivers to pass a school bus during these times if they are headed in the same direction as the bus.

There are exceptions to this rule, however. If the driver is on a highway with four or more lanes including at least two lanes per direction of traffic, or if the individual is traveling in the opposite direction of the bus, he or she is not responsible for stopping.

A three-month driving suspension can occur for those accused of passing a school bus for the first time. For repeat offenses, driving privileges can be suspended for a year if the second occurrence happens within five years of the first. Violating these laws also carries fines of between $150 and $500.

Since the punishments can be very stiff for allegedly passing a school bus, you should hire an Illinois criminal attorney with experience in this field immediately after the incident.

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