ISP cracking down on drivers not obeying stop lights at bus stops

By WEEK Reporter

September 26, 2013 Updated Sep 26, 2013 at 7:41 PM CDT

TREMONT, Ill -- The safety of students taking the bus to get to and from school every day rely on one person, the bus driver.
But when the stop lights are flashing and the arm is down, all it takes is one distracted driver to seriously injure or possibly kill a student crossing the street.

Illinois State Police are on the lookout for drivers blowing through stop signs at bus stops, a problem that has grown especially in the Tremont School District.

"Bus drivers report to us all the time that we have drivers that just ignore the stop arms on our buses," said Tremont Schools Superintendent Jeff Hinman.

During Thursday morning's ride along with State Police, all drivers obeyed the stop arms and lights, but that hasn't always been the case.

"We had a situation the other day where our crossing guard on Route 9 was out in the middle of the road with her stop arm up, and someone just went right by her as children were starting to cross the road," said Hinman.

State Police say drivers mostly blow through the signs and arms because they are in a hurry.

"Students are getting on and off the bus. We always try to hammer home to students to be watching out for traffic, but students aren't always looking out for that," said Trooper Dustin Pierce.

And when drivers aren't watching out for students, it could cost someone their life or being seriously injured, and it will also cost you your driving privileges.

"If someone gets caught disregarding the stop arm on a school bus or disregarding a crossing guard, they are issued a 150 dollar ticket plus they have to go to court so there is court costs that are going to be added onto that and upon conviction, their driver's license is suspended for three months for the first occasion," said Pierce.

And if you do it again, your license is gone for a year which is all the more reason to pay extra attention, slow down, and stop when you see those flashing red lights.

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