As spring arrives and the school year enters its last months, children may growing excited for their summer vacations. The warm air and longer days can distract a child even in the most critical and dangerous moments, such as crossing the street after disembarking from a school bus. For this reason, buses are equipped with red flashing lights. Ignoring those lights may result in harsh penalties for Illinois drivers, including fines, suspension of driving privileges and tough requirements for driver's license reinstatement.
Drivers must come to a complete stop whether behind or approaching a school bus whose red lights are flashing. Bus drivers typically signal that they are about to stop by flashing the red lights on the front and back of the vehicle. By the time the red stop sign arm extends, all vehicles must be stopped. The exception is when the bus is stopped on the opposite side of a four-lane highway.
Failing to stop for a school bus when children are embarking or disembarking leads to the automatic suspension of a driver's license if convicted. This means being unable to drive oneself to work, transport children to activities or fulfill many family and personal obligations. When the suspension period is complete, a driver does not immediately receive his or her driving privileges; he or she must complete the process of reinstatement.
Driver's license reinstatement may require additional actions, such as attending adult driving school. Drivers must attend a hearing with an officer of the Illinois Secretary of State, during which the decision will be made to reinstate the license or impose further penalties. Having the representation of an experienced attorney during one's hearing can improve the chances of regaining driving privileges without delay.
Source: topdriver.com, "What You Need to Know About Passing a Stopped School Bus in Illinois", Accessed on April 15, 2018