On January 1, 2020, the state of Illinois passed a law that upped the fine for drivers passing stopped school buses – and it comes with big consequences. Here’s what you need to know.

Is it Illegal to Pass a School Bus in Illinois?

In Illinois, it is illegal to pass a stopped school bus that has its stop arm out. (And if you were drinking and driving or committing another crime at the time of the offense, you’ll face some serious criminal charges). If you pass a stopped school bus, you will have to pay $300 for your first offense. If you’re a repeat offender, you can expect to pay a $1,000 fine. You can be charged with the crime of passing a stopped school bus under the Illinois Vehicle Code – and if you’re convicted, the Illinois Secretary of State will also suspend your driving privileges.

Laws on Passing School Buses and Driving in School Zones

Traffic violations can have serious consequences in Chicago and the suburbs, so it’s important that you know the laws – and what to do if you’re caught breaking them.

Illegally Passing a School Bus: What You Need to Know

If you’re like many people, you know that traffic laws are pretty strict in and out of the city – especially when they’re aimed at protecting children. When it comes to school buses, here are the basics:

  • On a two-lane road, all lanes of traffic in both directions have to stop when a school bus is stopped with its stop arm out.
  • On a one-way street, you must stop for a bus with its stop arm out, regardless of the number of lanes on the street.
  • On a four-lane road with at least two lanes moving in the opposite direction, only traffic traveling in the same direction as the bus are required to stop.
  • You should stop at least 20 feet from the bus when you see the bus’s flashing lights and stop arm.
  • School bus drivers can report your license plate number to the police. If that happens to you, you are required to tell the police who was driving or to face charges yourself.

School zones have serious laws, too, including the following:

  • The speed limit for all school zones is 20 miles per hour from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. on school days.
  • You cannot pass another car in a school zone.
  • Pedestrians have the right-of-way in school zone (and other) crosswalks.

Should You Talk to a Lawyer After Illegally Passing a School Bus in Illinois?

If you’ve been accused of illegally passing a school bus in Illinois, we may be able to help you. Call us at 847-920-4540 or fill out the form below now.


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