Illinois State Police (ISP) District 19 Interim Commander, Lieutenant Cory Ristvedt, would like to remind motorists that area schools will soon open their doors and begin the new school year. The start of the school year means an increase in pedestrian and vehicular traffic around schools.
Motorists need to be watchful for children walking and riding their bikes to school and children darting out from between parked cars. Motorists also need to be on the lookout for slowing and stopped school buses. As parents drop off their children before school and pick them up after school, there will be an increase in vehicle traffic during the morning and evening commutes. Extra travel time should be planned to allow for the increase in traffic.
Motorists are reminded to watch their speed in school zones and limit their distractions. The speed limit in school zones is 20 M.P.H. and is in effect from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., when children are present. Motorists should refrain from talking on cell phones in a school zone and are reminded that it is illegal to text while driving.
Motorists approaching a stopped school bus with lights activated and sign extended must stop their vehicle before reaching the school bus. Failure to do so can result in a $150 fine and the suspension of your driver’s license for three months. Also remember that pedestrians have the right-of-way in a crosswalk.
“The beginning of the school year is an exciting time period for many children and their families. As motorists, let’s all do our part to make this a safe and enjoyable time of the year,” said Interim Commander Ristvedt.