School Season Means School Buses
Submitted by Police Chief Bruce Dayno
The school season began in August with children heading off to school. Most children go to school and return home on school buses.
The Riverwoods Police Department vigorously enforces school bus laws designed to provide for the safety of our children.
We thought it might be helpful if we took the time to review the school bus regulations with you.
The following requirements apply to all two lane roads such as Deerfield and Riverwoods Roads.
1. School bus drivers are required to signal their intent to stop by activating the amber overhead lights not less than 100 feet before they come to a stop. This is your first warning that the bus is about to stop and you should begin preparing for the stop.
2. Once the bus stops, the bus driver is required to place the bus into neutral and then activate the emergency/parking brake. All the while the amber lights continue to flash, warning drivers there are children present and extra caution is necessary around the bus.
3. The driver then opens the door. The moment the door begins to open, the system switches the lights from Amber flashing to Red flashing.
4. You may not pass the bus from either direction while the red lights are activated – Once the red lights start flashing, a mechanical stop sign begins to deploy and is fully deployed within two seconds. While the red lights are flashing, you may not pass the bus even if the stop arm has not fully deployed.
5. Once the children are on or off of the bus, the driver will close the doors. Once the doors are fully closed the red lights will cease to flash.
6. You may not pass the bus until the bus begins to move – If you are stopped and/or cited for passing a stopped school bus, Illinois law provides that if you are found guilty at trial you will be fined a minimum of $150.00, plus court costs. Your driver’s license will be suspended for a minimum of 3 months. Judges are NOT permitted, under Illinois law, to give supervision or reduce the fine for this violation. Some violators have paid fines and court cost in excess of $500.00.
Please take extra care around a school bus. You may save an extra minute or two by passing it, but you are also compromising the safety of our children. If caught, you not only lose any time you may have gained, but you may pay a considerable price for the attempt.