You may (or may not) think that was a funny joke, but riding the school bus is actually serious business. Many students rely on the bus as a safe mode of transportation to school. Your child's school has rules for school bus safety, and Illinois law requires that students practice school bus evacuation each year. The drills happen on school property with the bus driver and school staff.
As your child's first teacher, you may want to talk to your child about bus safety. Staying Safe on the School Bus by Lucia Raatma could help with that conversation.
As a driver, it is also important to make sure you understand the rules of the road to keep children safe. The complete 2012 Illinois Rules of the Road publication is available at the Illinois Secretary of State's website, but here are a few reminders.
When approaching a marked school zone between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m., on days when school is in operation and children are present, a driver must discontinue wireless/cell phone use, reduce speed to 20 mph, and stop and yield the right-of-way to any children or adults in the crosswalk area.
You must stop before meeting or overtaking a school bus loading or unloading passengers on a two-lane roadway. The bus driver will flash amber and red lights, then extend stop signal arm. You must then come to a complete stop. You must remain stopped until the stop signal arm is no longer extended and the flashing lights are turned off or the driver signals you to pass. Your driver’s license or vehicle registration will be suspended for three months and you will pay a minimum $150 fine if you are convicted of illegally passing a stopped school bus.