school bus

SPRINGFIELD – To further increase student safety, State Senator Doris Turner spearheaded a measure through the Senate that would allow school busses to have two extended stop arms.

“Student safety has to be our top priority,” said Turner (D-Springfield). “Allowing school busses to have an extended arm would provide more protections for passengers and hopefully lessen the number of drivers who pass stopped busses.”

Senate Bill 2340 would allow a school bus to be equipped with a maximum of two stop arms that partially obstruct the roadway. The extensions would be required to be on the driver's side of the school bus and contain a system of flashing red lights.

“Too often, the safety of our students at bus drop offs and bus pick-ups are placed in jeopardy by distracted drivers. While we hire great bus drivers and teach children to look both ways, we can’t control the actions of a distracted motorist,” said Tip Reedy, Superintendent of Williamsville School District. “We value and appreciate the efforts of Senator Turner and other lawmakers who are taking steps to prevent the occurrence of unsafe and illegal passing of stopped school buses before a tragedy occurs.”

School officials across Illinois have increasingly seen instances of people not properly stopping for a school bus, putting the lives of kids at risk.

“It seems as though the number of distracted drivers on the road is increasing daily, and that is a concern for our bus riders. A flashing stop arm extender is directly in the field of vision of an oncoming driver and will do great things to help combat stop arm violations and continue to make sure our students are transported safely to and from school,” said Matt Peterson, Assistant Superintendent Reed-Custer School District. “The stop arm extender simply takes out any question of ‘do I have to stop?’. When it comes to the safety of the students, we should do whatever we can to make sure vehicles stop for the kids.”

According to a survey conducted by the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services, 79,959 school bus drivers from around the country reported that 51,593 vehicles had illegally passed their buses on a single day during the 2021-2022 school year.

“We applaud the efforts of Senator Turner and the co-sponsors of Senate Bill 2340 for taking action to empower the use of school bus safety technology to protect students in Illinois on their journey to and from school,” said Trevor J. Clatfelter, Vice President and Director of Government Affairs at BusGates.

Senate Bill 2340 passed the Senate and heads to the House of Representatives for further consideration.