Illinois State Police (ISP) District 12 Commander, Captain Cory Ristvedt, would like to remind motorists that area schools are opening their doors to 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 bike to school and children darting out from between parked cars. Motorists also need to be on the lookout for slowed 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 commute. 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 7a.m. to 4 p.m. when children are present at the school. Motorists are encouraged to refrain from talking on cell phones in a school zone and are reminded that it is illegal to text while driving. Driving while talking on a hand-held cellular device is prohibited throughout the state.
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 a three month driver’s license suspension. Remember, pedestrians have the right-of-way in a crosswalk.
Illinois State Police Safety Education Officers are available to provide educational presentations at area schools and throughout the community promoting safe driving habits. The goal is to ensure the safety of our driving communities and increase public awareness as the new school year begins.