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State Trooper Rides Local School Bus To Raise Safety Awareness

Illinois State Police are pushing for drivers to pay closer attention to school buses.
TREMONT – Thousands of students in central Illinois get to and from school by a bus. Illinois State Police are pushing to make sure students arrive safely.

Students from the Tremont school district weren’t just greeted by their bus driver this morning. They were also joined by Illinois State Trooper Dustin Pierce. Pierce said, “We want people paying attention, stopping for the stop arms like they're supposed to."

Pierce is on board to catch drivers who aren’t obeying the rules. The rural school district has recently had a couple of close calls.

Superintendent Jeff Hinman said, “Yeah, it's a pretty regular occurrence."

Hinman said drivers often disregard the stop arm and many don’t pay close enough attention when reaching the school’s crosswalk. He said, “We had a situation the other day where our crossing guard on Route 9 was out in the middle of the road with her stop arm, her stop sign, and somebody just went right by here while children were crossing the road.”

Pierce added, “They're in such a hurry, they see yellow flashing lights instead of slowing down or stopping like they're supposed to they're speeding up, trying to get past that school bus."

Pierce and Hinman want drivers to understand that a little patience goes a long way and insures that all students get to school safely. Hinman said, "I think in the morning it's just important for people to realize school buses are out and our most important cargo is on board and we've got to take all kinds of stops and measures to make sure they're delivered safety here to school.”

Trooper Pierce said even if you don’t see an officer monitoring the area, it doesn’t mean you’re free of a ticket. Bus drivers and school administrators often report vehicles that disobey the law. School zone fines start at $120, and if convicted, your license may be suspended.
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