Passing a Stopped School Bus in Illinois
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- Illinois has strict law requiring drivers to stop for school buses loading or unloading students.
- Drivers must stop for school buses with extended stop signal arms or flashing lights.
- Conviction for this offense leads to significant penalties, including:
- License suspension for three months for a first offense.
- Fines starting at $300 plus court costs.
- Traffic safety school or community service.
- Accumulation of 25 points on the driver’s license, potentially increasing car insurance premiums.
- Illinois courts do not offer supervision for these offenses.
- Drivers are advised to seek legal counsel, to potentially reduce penalties and avoid a conviction.
In Illinois, drivers are required to stop before meeting or overtaking a school bus that is stopped to load or unload students. Violations carry significant penalties, including license suspension and fines.
Drivers must stop regardless of where the bus is stopped, including on highways, roadways, private roadways, parking lots, and school property.
Vehicles that are traveling in the same direction as the school bus are always required to come to a full stop for a stopped school bus. Vehicles traveling in the opposite direction must also stop if traveling on a two-lane road. However, on a four-lane road, drivers are not required to stop for a school bus when driving in the opposite direction.
Drivers must come to a full stop anytime that a bus driver is picking up or dropping off students. This is typically indicated by visual signals such as:
- A stop signal arm extended;
- Alternatively flashing red signal lights;
- Alternately flashing amber signal lights; and/or
- Alternately flashing headlamps.
Illinois drivers must remain stopped and should not proceed until the stop arm has been retracted, the flashing lights have been turned off, the school bus resumes motion, or the school bus driver signals other drivers to go.
Penalties for Passing a Stopped School Bus in Illinois
Having to stop while a school bus loads or unloads students is necessary to ensure safety. If you do not come to a full stop and remain stopped until the bus is in motion, then you may be charged with a petty offense carrying harsh punishments.
If you receive a conviction for this offense, your license will be suspended for three months and you will have a minimum mandatory fine of $300 plus court costs. A second offense will result in a one-year driver’s license suspension and a minimum mandatory fine of $1,000 plus court costs.
In addition to a license suspension and fines, a court may also order you to attend traffic safety school and/or perform community service. You will also receive 25 points on your Illinois driver’s license. For most people, a conviction for passing a stopped school bus in Illinois will lead to increased car insurance premiums.
Importantly, judges are not permitted to offer court supervision for a passing a stopped school bus conviction. As a result, if you plead guilty or are convicted of this offense, the judge must enter the conviction and impose the required sentence.
Do I Need a Lawyer for an Illinois Stopped School Bus Ticket?
Whenever you receive a traffic ticket in Illinois, you have the option of pleading guilty and accepting the consequences. In most cases, this is a mistake.
Passing a stopped school bus may be classified as a petty offense (as opposed to a misdemeanor or felony crime), but it still carries harsh penalties. With supervision unavailable, it is highly recommended that you consult an experienced traffic attorney to help you avoid a conviction.
Our law firm is well-versed in Illinois law and has substantial experience representing clients in all types of traffic violations. We focus on traffic offenses, giving us unique insight into the procedures and policies that judges, prosecutors, and law enforcement follow when it comes to these cases.
Driver Defense Team charges flat rates for all traffic ticket cases, so you know exactly how much it will cost you to hire us – with no hidden fees. We also offer free consultations, where we will gather details about your case and provide you with your options.
In some cases, based on the ticket involved and your driving history, we may recommend that you can handle it yourself. For more serious offenses – such as passing a stopped school bus – we recommend hiring an attorney.
If you choose to retain our law firm, we will thoroughly investigate and analyze every aspect of your ticket. We will reach out to the prosecutor to determine if a deal can be made. If not, then we will take your case to trial and ask the court to find in your favor. Throughout the entire process, we will keep you informed and updated about your case.
Reach Out Today for Help
We all have made mistakes while driving. If you get a ticket for passing a stopped school bus, Driver Defense Team can help.
With offices in Chicago and the suburbs, we represent Illinois drivers in Cook, Dupage, and Lake counties. We offer free consultations and work on a flat fee basis. To learn more, call or text us at 312-940-8330, or fill out our online contact form.