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Ill. State Police announces school zone safety enforcement campaign

Published: Aug. 10, 2021 at 5:18 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 10, 2021 at 6:02 PM CDT
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SESSER, Ill. (KFVS) -With school starting soon, you’ll be seeing more buses on the streets and students at school cross walks.

That’s why Illinois State police are stepping up their school zone safety enforcement campaign.

“The Illinois state police takes this very seriously so much so we have troopers in every school zone, every day all the way through September,” said Casey Faro, Illinois State Police captain.

Faro said Illinois State Police is trying to make school zones safer for kids.

“We’re absolutely going to take enforcement action if we see something, where it’s jeopardizing our kids safety we’re going to stop the vehicle and then we’ll make the appropriate determination for the action,” said Faro.

He said these are the most common things they see in a school zone from drivers.

“Talking on the cell phone. Also texting and it may not even be just texting. Watching something, doing social media through a school zone so anything with a cellphone is a distraction, speeding of course, people don’t pay attention, they’re driving so fast before they even get to the school zones and don’t slow down enough traveling through them,” he explained.

Donald Maas is a 23-year veteran bus driver for the Sesser school district. He said their priority is always safety, but they still have problems on the road.

“Believe it or not even though they learned it in driving education they still blow by our buses whenever we are stopped,” he said.

Maas, like the state troopers, sees this as the biggest issue with drivers in school zones.

“The number one problem is distracted driving, that’s what it is. People get distracted. They’re not paying attention to what they’re doing. And I think that’s the number one problem that we have,” he said.

According to the Illinois State Police, a first offense of speeding a school zone results in a fine of at least $150, and a second or subsequent offense can result in a minimum fine of $300.

Faro hoped this served as a good reminder for drivers as the school year begins.

“I just hope it reinforces good driving habits and practices and that they’re most cognizant that schools starting,” he said.

Just a reminder that all cellphone use of any kind is against the law for all Illinois drivers.

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