The Illinois Vehicle Code requires drivers to stop “before meeting or overtaking, from either direction, any school bus stopped at any location for the purpose of receiving or discharging pupils.” Such a stop is required before reaching a school bus when the bus is displaying an extended stop sign and flashing red lights. Flashing yellow lights on a school bus indicate that the bus soon will be stopping to load or unload passengers.
A limited exception to this rule applies on 4 or more lane highways that have a least 2 lanes of traffic in opposite directions. On these roads, a driver need not stop if the driver is traveling in the opposite direction of the school bus. If a driver is traveling in the same direction as the school bus, the driver still must stop.
Suburban police departments routinely ticket drivers for driving past stopped school buses before and after school, the times when students are boarding and being dropped off. Local police departments frequently step up enforcement of this law after receiving parental and neighborhood complaints, or complaints from school bus drivers who believe that people are not obeying the law.
(625 ILCS 5/11-1414)
(from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 11-1414) Sec. 11-1414. Approaching, overtaking, and passing school bus.
(a) The driver of a vehicle shall stop such vehicle before meeting or overtaking, from either direction, any school bus stopped at any location for the purpose of receiving or discharging pupils. Such stop is required before reaching the school bus when there is in operation on the school bus the visual signals as specified in Sections 12-803 and 12-805 of this Code. The driver of the vehicle shall not proceed until the school bus resumes motion or the driver of the vehicle is signaled by the school bus driver to proceed or the visual signals are no longer actuated.
(b) The stop signal arm required by Section 12-803 of this Code shall be extended after the school bus has come to a complete stop for the purpose of loading or discharging pupils and shall be closed before the school bus is placed in motion again. The stop signal arm shall not be extended at any other time.
(c) The alternately flashing red signal lamps of an 8 lamp flashing signal system required by Section 12-805 of this Code shall be actuated after the school bus has come to a complete stop for the purpose of loading or discharging pupils and shall be turned off before the school bus is placed in motion again. The red signal lamps shall not be actuated at any other time except as provided in paragraph (d) of this Section.
(d) The alternately flashing amber signal lamps of an 8 lamp flashing signal system required by Section 12-805 of this Code shall be actuated continuously during not less than the last 100 feet traveled by the school bus before stopping for the purpose of loading or discharging pupils within an urban area and during not less than the last 200 feet traveled by the school bus outside an urban area. The amber signal lamps shall remain actuated until the school bus is stopped. The amber signal lamps shall not be actuated at any other time.
(d-5) The alternately flashing head lamps permitted by Section 12 805 of this Code may be operated while the alternately flashing red or amber signal lamps required by that Section are actuated.
(e) The driver of a vehicle upon a highway having 4 or more lanes which permits at least 2 lanes of traffic to travel in opposite directions need not stop such vehicle upon meeting a school bus which is stopped in the opposing roadway; and need not stop such vehicle when driving upon a controlled access highway when passing a school bus traveling in either direction that is stopped in a loading zone adjacent to the surfaced or improved part of the controlled access highway where pedestrians are not permitted to cross.
(f) Beginning with the effective date of this amendatory Act of 1985, the Secretary of State shall suspend for a period of 3 months the driving privileges of any person convicted of a violation of subsection (a) of this Section or a similar provision of a local ordinance; the Secretary shall suspend for a period of one year the driving privileges of any person convicted of a second or subsequent violation of subsection (a) of this Section or a similar provision of a local ordinance if the second or subsequent violation occurs within 5 years of a prior conviction for the same offense. In addition to the suspensions authorized by this Section, any person convicted of violating this Section or a similar provision of a local ordinance shall be subject to a mandatory fine of $150 or, upon a second or subsequent violation, $500. The Secretary may also grant, for the duration of any suspension issued under this subsection, a restricted driving permit granting the privilege of driving a motor vehicle between the driver's residence and place of employment or within other proper limits that the Secretary of State shall find necessary to avoid any undue hardship. A restricted driving permit issued hereunder shall be subject to cancellation, revocation and suspension by the Secretary of State in like manner and for like cause as a driver's license may be cancelled, revoked or suspended; except that a conviction upon one or more offenses against laws or ordinances regulating the movement of traffic shall be deemed sufficient cause for the revocation, suspension or cancellation of the restricted driving permit. The Secretary of State may, as a condition to the issuance of a restricted driving permit, require the applicant to participate in a designated driver remedial or rehabilitative program. Any conviction for a violation of this subsection shall be included as an offense for the purposes of determining suspension action under any other provision of this Code, provided however, that the penalties provided under this subsection shall be imposed unless those penalties imposed under other applicable provisions are greater.
The owner of any vehicle alleged to have violated paragraph (a) of this Section shall, upon appropriate demand by the State's Attorney or other designated person acting in response to a signed complaint, provide a written statement or deposition identifying the operator of the vehicle if such operator was not the owner at the time of the alleged violation. Failure to supply such information shall result in the suspension of the vehicle registration of the vehicle for a period of 3 months. In the event the owner has assigned control for the use of the vehicle to another, the person to whom control was assigned shall comply with the provisions of this paragraph and be subject to the same penalties as herein provided.
(Source: P.A. 95-105, eff. 1-1-08; 95-331, eff. 8-21-07.)
*NOTE: Although every effort is made to include the law in its current state, no representation is made that the law as stated on this website is current. Legislative changes may occur before those changes are reflected on this website. Additionally, laws and legal precedent other than those found on this website may apply to your particular case. For this reason, it is strongly recommended that before acting upon any content you view on this or any other website, you first consult competent legal counsel.
If your traffic ticket alleges a violation of 625 ILCS 5/11-1414 of the Illinois Vehicle Code, or of a similar provision of a local ordinance, you have been charged with the moving violation of illegally passing a stopped school bus. If you are convicted of this violation, your driver's license will be suspended for 3 months. If you are convicted of a second or subsequent violation of the same law, your driver's license will be suspended for an entire year if the second or subsequent violation occurred within 5 years of the prior conviction.
Not only will a conviction for improper passing of a stopped school bus cause your driver's license to be suspended, but it also will require you to pay a higher than normal minimum fine. A first conviction for this violation carries a mandatory minimum fine (excluding court costs) of $150.00. On a second conviction, the minimum fine (excluding court costs) increases to $500.00.
A traffic ticket for improperly passing a stopped school bus is serious not only because a conviction will trigger a fine and the automatic suspension of your driver's license, but also because judges are not permitted to grant court supervision for this violation. Most Illinois moving violations allow judges to consider granting court supervision. A ticket for improper passing of a stopped school bus does not.
This means that if you plead guilty to this violation, or if you are found guilty of this violation at a trial, under the law the court will have no option but to enter a conviction against you, and that conviction will require you to pay a fine and face the suspension of your driver's license.
A conviction for improperly passing a stopped school bus is required by law to be reported by the clerk of the court to the Office of the Illinois Secretary of State. Once the Secretary of State processes this information, it mails a "Notice of Suspension" to your address on file.
Aware of the punishment they could be forced to impose, judges frequently advise defendants charged with the violation of improper passing of a stopped school bus to consult legal counsel before taking any substanctive action on their cases.
Matt appears routinely in the Lake County, Illinois traffic courts located in Park City, Round Lake Beach, Mundelein and Waukegan, in the Cook County, Illinois traffic courts located in Rolling Meadows and Skokie, and in the McHenry County, Illinois traffic courts located in Woodstock and McHenry. Frequently, he defends clients who have been ticketed for passing a stopped school bus by any of the various north suburban police departments in the metropolitan Chicago area.
Just because you have been ticketed for an offense does not mean that you are automatically guilty. A traffic ticket is merely an allegation. Because of this, Matt knows that until you either plead guilty or are found guilty, you are presumed innocent of the violation. Thus, in representing you in traffic court, Matt will explore creative solutions for resolving your case, always with an emphasis on protecting your driving record and keeping your driver's abstract as clean as possible. These solutions can include seeking the dismissal of the charge, plea bargaining and negotiating for controlled results or lesser or amended charges, and even trial. Matt has over 14 years' experience as a trial lawyer.
The Law Office of Matthew T. Hoffman P.C. represents clients charged with traffic tickets and moving violations in the Lake, Cook and McHenry County, Illinois traffic courts.
There are many different police departments that forward illegally passing stopped school bus tickets to the eight local traffic courthouses in Northeastern Illinois for disposition. These courthouses include those located at Park City, Round Lake Beach, Mundelein, Waukegan, Rolling Meadows, Skokie, Woodstock and McHenry. If you were ticketed for a passing a stopped school bus violation within the jurisdiction of any of these eight court venues, it is likely that you were cited by one of the following police departments. The Law Office of Matthew T. Hoffman P.C. defends clients charged with traffic violations issued by these and other area police agencies: