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Preventing School Bus Accidents: Violation of School Bus Traffic Laws Result in Hefty Fines

Posted on in School Bus Accidents

In late February, ten Chicago-area students were hospitalized after a grisly school bus accident in suburban Montgomery. The crash, which occurred between a car and the bus, occurred early in the morning, and 31 students were on the bus at the time of accident. None of the students had injuries that were considered life-threatening. The students were on their way to Boulder Hill Elementary School.

There are several motor vehicle laws in Illinois regarding school buses, likely put into place to avoid tragic incidents like the recent one in Montgomery. One of these is that drivers are required to stop, and not pass a stopped school bus. According to a report from the Illinois State Police, the majority of students are injured or killed in school bus transportation accidents when they are outside of the bus. On average, according to National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration statistics, a school bus is the safest way for children to get to and from school in the morning, though an average of 33 children die every year in school bus-related crashes. Most of these killed are pedestrians five to seven years of age.

Illegally passing a stopped school bus will result in a minimum fine of $150 and a three-month suspension of your driver’s license, if it is your first offense. A second offense or a subsequent conviction within five years will result in a minimum fine of $500 and a full year suspension of your driver’s license. Any driver who is convicted of illegally passing a school bus will not be eligible for court supervision.

Regardless of these hefty penalties, an national survey found that most drivers do not obey school bus laws. The survey, conducted in 29 states by the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services, found that more than 85,000 violations occurred in participating states in one day alone.

If your child has been injured in a school bus accident, you could be eligible for compensation. Do not go through it alone. Contact an experienced Lake County personal injury attorney today.

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