State Senator Doris Turner is leading efforts to ensure that children in Illinois can travel safely to and from school. Turner's measure to equip school buses with two extended stop arms was passed by the Senate Transportation Committee, paving the way for it to be considered on the Senate floor.
As part of the proposed legislation, school buses would be allowed to have a maximum of two stop arms that partially obstruct the roadway. The extensions would be required to be on the driver's side of the school bus and contain a system of flashing red lights. Turner argues that these safety features are necessary to prevent drivers from ignoring stop signals on school buses, which puts children's safety at risk.
"Drivers often don't take stopped school buses seriously," said Turner. "When students are getting on or off a school bus, we have to prioritize their safety. An extended arm would prevent drivers from putting students in danger."
Recent statistics indicate that illegal passing of stopped school buses is a growing concern. According to a survey conducted by the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services, 51,593 vehicles passed stopped school buses on a single day during the 2021-2022 school year.
"It’s statistics like this that show us that there is a problem," said Turner. "We have to ensure our kids can get to and from school safely."
Senate Bill 2340 now heads to the Senate floor for further consideration. If passed, the measure would improve student safety and provide parents with peace of mind knowing that their children are traveling to school without unnecessary risks.