Don’t be surprised if you see extra patrol cars around school zones throughout this week.
By Thursday, students at every public school district in Kane County will be back in action, and local police departments are reminding drivers to proceed with extra caution around our schools and in our neighborhoods, especially during the morning rush hours.
School is already under way in District 300, U-46, Batavia District 101 and West Aurora District 129. School starts Aug. 24 in Central District 301, Kaneland District 302, St. Charles District 303 and Geneva District 304. Classes start Thursday, Aug. 25, in East Aurora School District 131.
That means kids will be out at bus stops, buses will be stopping on the roads, and parents will be driving their children to and from school. Drivers can help keep children safe by reviewing these traffic laws, provided courtesy of a city of St. Charles Police Department news release:
Cell Phone Use
- Illinois law bans the use of all hand-held devices while driving. Only hands-free technology such as speakerphones, bluetooth, and headsets are permitted.
- Any wireless/cellphone use while driving, including a hands-free device, is prohibited for drivers under age 19, except in the case of an emergency to contact a law enforcement agency, health care provider or emergency services agency.
- All Illinois drivers are prohibited from texting.
Don’t Pass a Stopped School Bus
“State law is clear that drivers must take caution and stop when buses are paused to pick up and drop off children. The majority of accidents involving children on public transportation happen not while students are on the school bus, but when they are outside it,” said Patricia Dal Santo, regional superintendent of Kane County.
On a two-lane road, you must stop in either lane before meeting or overtaking a school bus loading or unloading passengers, the St. Charles Police Department says. The school bus driver will give a warning at least 100 feet in advance of a stop by flashing their amber and red lights on the front and rear of the bus and extending the stop signal arm. You must come to a complete stop.
(1) You may proceed when the school bus resumes motion or the bus driver signals you to do so.
(2) You also may proceed when the flashing lights are turned off and the stop arm is no longer extended.
You do not always need to stop when meeting a stopped school bus on a roadway with four or more lanes.
Watch for Children Walking and Biking
- Please watch for young children walking and riding their bikes especially around our schools and in residential areas.
- Take extra care when backing out of driveways.
- Come to a complete stop when approaching stop intersections and give kids a chance to cross safely.
“There soon will be many more vehicles out on the roads as school buses, parents and teens are out dropping students off at school,” says St. Charles Chief of Police Jim Keegan, “Allow time for increased traffic and please use extra caution when driving. It only takes a few minutes to wait for a school bus or stop for a crossing guard. We will have additional patrols on the roads to ensure safety and compliance because we want to be sure our children have a happy and safe school year.”
SOURCE: St. Charles Police Department news release, Kane County Regional Office of Education