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New Law Adds Protection for School Bus Riders

Illinois has passed a new law championed by State Senator Doris Turner, which permits school buses to have two extended stop arms. These arms, equipped with flashing red lights, will be positioned on the driver's side of the bus, partially obstructing the roadway. The move comes as a response to a growing number of instances where drivers fail to stop for school buses, putting students at risk.

“We have to make sure students are safe while riding school buses,” said Turner. “Drivers aren’t taking school bus stop signs seriously. Giving school buses the ability to have an additional arm will protect our students and stop reckless drivers from putting kids in danger.”

During the 2021-2022 school year, a survey by the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services revealed that 51,593 vehicles illegally passed stopped school buses on a single day. By allowing dual stop arms, Illinois aims to enhance student safety during loading and unloading, addressing the concern of reckless driving around school buses.

“Too often, the safety of our students is placed in jeopardy by hurried or distracted drivers,” said Tip Reedy, Superintendent of Williamsville School District. “While we can hire great bus drivers and teach children to look both ways, we can’t control the actions a motorist. We value and appreciate the efforts of Senator Turner and other lawmakers who are taking steps to prevent the occurrence of unsafe and illegal passing of stopped school buses before tragedy occurs.”


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