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School’s Out For The Summer … But Summer’s Almost Over (Heads Up on School Traffic Safety!)

A group of young school students stand near the bus and talk together.The excited anticipation of a summer off in the Alice Cooper song “School’s Out” is now giving way to the angst-filled uncertainty of another new school year.

With a new school year come school traffic safety issues and challenges for pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers.

School Traffic Safety Issues: More Traffic, More Pedestrians, More Bicycles

Once school begins, it means more cars, bikes, and people on the road.  Parents driving their children to school, school buses, and kids riding bikes and walking to school all contribute to this perceived glut of traffic.

It also means that drivers must be more alert to children walking or riding with ear buds in, oblivious to the 2-ton masses of metal careening toward them. 

Drivers should practice school traffic safety by being prepared for commutes taking longer and leaving earlier to avoid dangerous driving and stress. 

School Zones and School Buses

Designated school speed zones command a 20 mile per hour limit.  Violation of this (when children are present) is rather serious, in that Illinois law prohibits Court Supervision for this offense. The law is codified in 625 ILCS 5/11-605.

Passing a school bus when its stop arm is extended is also treated very seriously. A conviction for this offense will result in a driver’s license suspension of 3 months!  This law is codified in 625 ILCS 5/11-1414.

Pro tip:  If you are driving in a school zone, and there are children or school buses present, drive slowly and alertly, and do not pass the school bus if the arm is extended. (This rule includes oncoming traffic!)

If Your Children Drive

Insurance for teens is very costly.  It is also one of the most important things you can ever purchase.  Teen brains are not fully developed, especially in boys. Teens tend to be impulsive and inattentive. They also have many things competing for their attention, like the ubiquitous ear buds and smart phones. In short, teens get in accidents when they drive. Make certain your insurance limits are as high as possible, just in case.

Keep in mind that new teen drivers cannot have multiple passengers. The Illinois law mandates that for the first year of their licensure, drivers under 18 cannot have more than one passenger under the age of 20.  This is to prevent distraction, as mentioned above.  It is taken seriously.

Young drivers are also limited in the hours they can drive. Driving after 11 p.m. or before 5 a.m. is prohibited until they turn 18, with limited exceptions.

Make sure you review with your teens what they should do in the event of an accident.

Finally, if you send a child to college with a car, make sure they know the rules of the road for that state (some states and municipalities allow right turns on red, while others don’t, for example). Ensure they have their license and insurance card with them at all times.

Last, review the revised law (just changed July 1, 2019) in Illinois regarding cell phones. It is now a moving violation to use a cell phone for any reason (navigation, texting, etc.) while driving. 

Contact Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Stephen Hoffman

As in all cases involving injury and potential liability, if you have been hit by a vehicle immediately get medical treatment, report the crash to police and your own insurance company, and contact a lawyer with expertise in your type of case, such as bicycle accidents or pedestrians hit by cars.

If you've been in an accident and have questions, contact Chicago personal injury attorney Stephen L. Hoffman for a free consultation at (773) 944-9737. Stephen has nearly 30 years of legal experience and has collected millions of dollars for his clients. He is listed as a SuperLawyer, has a 10.0 rating on Avvo, and is BBB A+ accredited. He is also an Executive Level Member of the Lincoln Square Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce.

Stephen handles personal injury claims on a contingency fee basis, which means you don’t pay anything upfront and he only gets paid if you do. Don’t wait another day, contact Stephen now.

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