Governor Signs Rep. Bailey “School Bus Safety” Bill

State Rep. Darren Bailey announced that Governor JB Pritzker signed House Bill 1873 last week and now becomes law to double the fines for people who violate the ‘no passing’ law around school buses when they are picking up or dropping off children. First offense fines increased from $150 to $300 and second offense fines increased from $500 to $1,000.

“I am pleased that my first bill to pass both the House and Senate has been signed into law by the governor,” commented Rep. Darren Bailey, a member of the Elementary & Secondary Education: Administration, Licensing & Charter Schools Committee. “This is a public safety bill suggested by a constituent to help save lives and protect our children and grandchildren from people who ignore the stop signs and safety gates opened on school buses. These fines have not been increased for many years and are intended to help stop people from putting children in danger.”

Current law requires a driver to stop before meeting or overtaking (from either direction) a school bus stopped for the purpose of loading or unloading students. The law applies to any and all locations including, but not limited to, highways, roadways, private roadways, parking lots, and school property.

A full stop is required if the school bus is displaying the visual signals specified in the code (i.e. flashing lights, stop signal arm extended, etc.) and the driver should not proceed until the visuals signals cease, the school bus resumes motion, or the school bus driver signals the vehicle to proceed. The law does not require a driver to stop on a four-lane highway when traveling on the opposite two lanes from the school bus.

Passing a school bus while loading or unloading can lead to a driver’s license suspension. Currently, the Illinois Secretary of State will automatically suspend the driver’s license of anyone convicted of violating this law for a period of three months. In addition, the court will impose a new minimum $300 fine for a first offense plus mandatory court costs. A second or subsequent conviction for this offense within five years of the first conviction will result in a one-year driver’s license suspension and a new minimum mandatory $1,000 fine.