Laws of Passing or Overtaking a Stopped School Bus
In Illinois, the law for Approaching, Overtaking, and Passing a School Bus is included in the Illinois Vehicle Code under 625 ILCS 5/11-1414. The law requires a driver to stop before meeting or overtaking (from either direction) a school bus stopped for the purpose of loading or unloading students. The law applies to any and all locations including, but not limited to, highways, roadways, private roadways, parking lots, and school property.
Drivers are required to make a full stop if the school bus is displaying any of the visual signals specified in the code (i.e. flashing lights, stop signal arm extended, etc.). These signals indicate that the school bus driver is picking up or dropping off students. Drivers should not proceed until the extended arm of the school bus is retracted, the flashing lights are turned off, the school bus resumes motion, or the school bus driver signals the vehicle to proceed.
Vehicles traveling the same direction as the school bus are always required to stop. Vehicles traveling in the opposite direction of the school bus on a two-lane roadway must also stop. However, Illinois law does not require a driver to stop on a four-lane highway when traveling on the opposite two lanes from the school bus.Penalties for Passing a School Bus while Loading/Unloading
Passing a School Bus while Loading/Unloading can lead to a mandatory driver's license suspension. Under Illinois law, a sentence of court supervision is not permitted for passing a school bus while loading/unloading. Therefore, if a driver pleads guilty, the judge must enter a conviction for the offense. The Illinois Secretary of State will automatically suspend the driver’s license of anyone convicted of violating this law for a period of three months.
In addition, the court will impose a minimum $300.00 fine for a first offense plus mandatory court costs ($150.00 fine prior to 1/1/2020). A second or subsequent conviction for this offense within five years of the first conviction will result in a one-year driver’s license suspension and a minimum mandatory $1,000.00 fine ($500.00 fine prior to 1/1/2020).
Conditions such as traffic safety school and/or community service hours may be imposed as well. Of course, a conviction can also negatively impact insurance premiums.Traffic Ticket Defense Attorneys
Our defense attorneys are able to evaluate the specifics of your case and determine the most effective strategy. Under certain circumstances, it may be possible for us to challenge the ticket at trial. However, it may also be possible for us to negotiate a an amendment to the offense to keep your record clean and avoid further consequences.
Avoiding a conviction and preventing the suspension of your driver's license is our top priority. Our traffic lawyers have an in-depth understanding of the law and the ability to negotiate and litigate to achieve the best possible result for our clients.Contact Us Today
We have found that these offenses are most common at the beginning of the school year when many police departments increase enforcement in an effort to educate and remind the public of the law. During this time of year, it is not unusual to see police vehicles traveling close behind school buses in order to observe violations. Of course, these traffic tickets are written throughout the remainder of the year as well. School bus drivers may also report the license plates of drivers that unlawfully pass them to the police.
The traffic attorneys at The Davis Law Group, P.C. frequently represent clients charged with unlawfully passing a school bus and a wide variety of other traffic-related offenses throughout the Chicago area including Cook County, Lake County, and DuPage County. If you have been issued a ticket for passing a school bus while loading or unloading, contact our defense attorneys today to discuss your case.