ILLINOIS (WCIA) — Kids are heading back to school next week, which means school buses will be back on the roads. With the start of the new year, the fine will double for passing a stopped school bus.
Lawmakers hope that will keep drivers from making careless decisions around buses. Currently, the fine for passing a school bus is $150. That is about to change to $300 for the first offense. For every violation after that, it will cost the driver $1,000; up from the current $500 fine.
Teachers say they hope a harder hit to people’s wallets will make more of them drive safer. “I certainly hope that will make them want to stop,” said Andrea Ballard, a Morton teacher. “I would think you would want to stop because there are children there. But if they need a fine to do it, then I think it is necessary. I teach high school, and I think a fine will make them not want to pass the bus because they won’t be able to afford it,” she continued. Bus drivers have the right to report drivers that they see pass them when their stop signs are out. Then police can write the ticket for the crime.
The punishment won’t end at the fine either. The law suspends a person’s license for three months after the first violation and for one year after the second.