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State Police warn motorists to be aware as school begins

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WEEK) — School is starting across the state, and the Illinois State Police want you to be aware and alert of stopped school buses, crosswalks, and children walking or riding their bicycles.

In a statement, District 9 Interim Commander Lt. J.W. Price also warns motorist of children possibly darting out between parked cars.

“Motorists are also reminded to obey the school zone speed limit and avoid distracted driving. The speed limit in school zones is 20 miles per hour and is in effect from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. on school days when children are present. Motorists are reminded that driving while talking on a hand-held cellular device is strictly prohibited, as well as texting while driving. A first time offense and any subsequent offense is considered a moving violation,” said Price.

Price’s statement adds that motorists approaching a stopped school bus with lights activated and a sign extended must stop their vehicle before reaching the school bus. Failure to do so can result in a $150 fine and a three-month driver’s license suspension. Remember, pedestrians have the right-of-way in a crosswalk.

Lt. Price added, “With school starting this week all over Central Illinois, we ask everyone to be vigilant and watch for children and families heading to schools. Please pay attention to the posted speed limits around schools, obey all traffic signs, and please stay off your cell phones while driving. The Illinois State Police will be present in various school districts around District 9 and will strategically enforce all traffic laws to keep our children safe.”

As school begins, you are asked to give yourself extra time, and plan ahead for school buses, and the increase in traffic during the morning and after school hours.

John Kendall

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