State police urge drivers to be alert in school zones

ASHKUM — As a new school year gets under way, District 21 Illinois State Police are reminding drivers to be watchful for children walking and riding their bikes to school and children darting out from between parked cars.

Drivers 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 also 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, police said.

Drivers are also reminded to watch their speed in school zones and limit their distractions. The speed limit in school zones is 20 mph and is in effect from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. when children are present. Drivers should refrain from talking on cell phones in a school zone and are reminded that it is illegal to text while driving.

Drivers approaching a stopped school bus with its 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 their driver’s license for three months. Drivers also should remember that pedestrians have the right-of-way in a crosswalk.

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