Do You Know When It’s Legal To Pass A School Bus In The Quad Cities?
School is back in session in the Quad Cities for the 2022-2023 school year. Many kids, especially young Quad-City students, take the bus to get to and from school. If you're a motorist in Iowa and Illinois, this is your reminder of when you should stop for a school bus and when you need to keep driving.
With kiddos heading back to school, the Iowa Department of Transportation took to social media to remind motorists when to stop and when they can keep traveling when a school bus is dropping off kids. Before we show you what's the law when a bus is stopped, flashing red lights, and has its stop sign out, let us remind you what could happen to you if you break the law.
On the Iowa side of the Quad Cities, Iowa Code 321.372(5)(b)(1) says that when unlawfully passing of school bus, the first offense is a simple misdemeanor which could come with a fine of at least $345, but not more than $930. You could serve jail time too if a judge sees fit. Imprisonment is not to exceed 30 days in lieu of or in addition to a fine. Second, third, and subsequent offenses could lead to larger fines, loss of driving privileges, and longer jail time.
On the Illinois side of the Quad Cities, Illinois Code 625 ILCS 5/11-1414 says that when someone is convicted of breaking the law, their license will be suspended for 3 months. If you do it a second time, it's suspended for 1 year in Illinois. In addition to the suspensions, you will receive a mandatory $300 fine. Second-time offenders will see a $1,000 fine. Similar to Iowa, the more times you break this law in Illinois, the worse the punishments become.
While it probably makes sense to stop anytime you see a school bus with its stop sign out and red lights flashing, that's not always the case. Let's take a look at the graphic from the Iowa DOT below.
As you can see, anytime there are 3 lanes or fewer and a school bus stops to put out its stop sign and flashing lights to drop off kids, motorists in all directions must stop. When there are 4 lanes or more, motorists in the oncoming direction of the school bus can proceed but with caution.