Passing a Stopped School Bus

Animated School Bus

When and Where

When it comes to stopped school buses, the part that drivers need to remember is rather simple. Illinois law states that it is illegal to pass a school bus (with its stop sign arm out and red lights flashing) that is stopped to pick up or discharge riders. It's important to remember that this law applies "at any location". What this means is that you can be ticketed for committing this violation in a parking lot as well as on the roadway.

If you receive a ticket for this offense, you MUST appear in court. If you are convicted, your driver’s license will be suspended for three months - and even longer for a second conviction.

Four-Lane Streets

The driver of a vehicle on a road having 4 or more lanes which permit at least 2 lanes of traffic to travel in the opposite direction, does not have to stop upon meeting a school bus that is stopped in the opposite direction. (An example of this is Hawthorn Parkway.) However, you still have to stop if a bus is stopped to pick up or discharge riders in a lane going in the same direction you are.

Bus Drivers

By the way, the bus drivers also do their part to help educate motorists. When one of them sees a vehicle that doesn't stop when required, he/she will pass the information along to VHPD. We then send a letter to the registered owner explaining the violation. It includes a date and time of the violation, location and a description of the vehicle. The letter carries no penalty nor is it any kind of "mark" against anyone's driving record. It's just a friendly reminder of the law.

Read the Illinois Law

Here is a link to the Illinois law pertaining to approaching, overtaking and passing a school bus. We encourage that it be read by anyone who has questions or comments regarding specific situations. 

Any questions? If so, send us an e-mail.