CHICAGO - November 17, 2009. Governor Pat Quinn today signed a bill into law that will significantly improve the safety of Illinois’ students riding school buses.
The law amends the Illinois Vehicle Code to require all school bus drivers conduct comprehensive posttrip inspections to ensure that children, and other passengers, are not left unattended on a bus. The new law also requires all school buses be equipped with two-way radio systems designed to alert drivers to incoming communications, requests or alerts from school districts or emergency service providers.
“The safety of our children is of paramount importance to the people of Illinois,” said Governor Quinn. “This new law prevents children from being left unattended on a school bus and also ensures that bus drivers receive important information while on the road.”
At a bill signing ceremony held at the Andrew Jackson Language Academy, Governor Quinn signed into law Senate Bill 932, which was sponsored by Sen. James DeLeo (D-Chicago) and Rep. John Fritchey (D-Chicago). The law is effective immediately.
Failure to conduct a post-trip bus inspection can result in the driver’s permit being suspended by the Illinois Secretary of State.
In addition, the new law states that school bus owners must provide emergency two-way radios that enable drivers to send and receive information from their companies and local public safety agencies. Drivers are required to test the radios before their bus can be operated. Prior to this law, the State allowed school buses to be equipped with two-way radios at the bus owner’s discretion.
At the signing event, Governor Quinn was joined by Jesse White, Illinois Secretary of State.