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Palos Park Police Kick Off School Safety, Will Enforce School Bus Laws | #schoolsaftey

PALOS PARK, IL — With school starting over the next week, Palos Park police have kicked off their school safety campaign.

Palos Dist. 118 students in grades 1-8 return to school Aug. 23, with preschoolers and kindergartners coming back on Aug. 24. Police offer these safety tips for adults and students, especially around school zones:


Crosswalk Caution: Always stop for pedestrians at crosswalks, whether or not they’re accompanied by an adult.

School Bus Etiquette: When you see those flashing red lights on a school bus, it means STOP!

Backpack Awareness: Students should wear both straps of their backpacks to avoid shoulder injuries.

Walking Buddies: Encourage students to walk to school with a buddy or in groups whenever possible.

Biking Safety: If your child rides a bike to school, make sure they wear a helmet and follow all traffic and bike safety rules.

Emergency Preparedness: Teach your child their home address and your contact information.

Police are warning drivers ahead of time that officers could be riding on buses to witness violators and radioing ahead to patrol cars to ticket drivers. Officers will also be enforcing school bus laws from patrol cars. Please remember these key rules of the road regarding school buses:

  • Be on the lookout for school zone signals and ALWAYS obey the speed limits.
  • When entering a school zone, be sure to slow down and obey all traffic laws.
  • ALWAYS stop for school buses that are loading or unloading children.
  • Watch out for school crossing guards and obey their signals.
  • Be aware of and watch out for children near schools, bus stops, sidewalks, in the streets, and in school parking lots.
  • NEVER pass other vehicles while driving in a school zone.
  • NEVER text while driving in a school zone.
  • Avoid using a cell phone, unless it is completely hands-free, while driving in a school zone.
  • On a two-lane road, all lanes of traffic in both directions have to stop when a school bus is stopped with its stop arm out.
  • On a one-way street, drivers must stop for a bus with its stop arm out, regardless of the number of lanes on the street.
  • On a four-lane road with at least two lanes moving in the opposite direction, only traffic traveling in the same direction as the bus are required to stop.
  • Drivers must also stop at least 20 feet from the bus, when its lights are flashing and the stop arm is out.

School bus drivers can report a violator’s license plate number to the police. If that happens, the violator is required to tell the police who was driving or to face charges themselves.
Drivers convicted of school bus violations face fines of $300 for first-time offenses; and $1,000 for repeat offenders. Also, the Illinois Secretary of State will suspend your driving privileges.

School zones have serious laws, too. The speed limit for all school zones is 20 miles per hour from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. on school days. Motorists cannot pass another car in a school zone. Pedestrians also have the right of way in school zones, cross walks, etc.

Drivers who receive tickets for these offenses MUST appear in court. If convicted, drivers face fines of $300 for first-time offenses; and $1,000 for repeat offenders. Also, the Illinois Secretary of State will suspend your driving privileges. You will also have to probably hire an attorney.

Public and private schools may request an officer to ride on along routes where motorists are not complying with school bus laws by calling Palos Park Police Chief Joe Miller at 708-671-3771 or by emailing [email protected].

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