Illinois Compiled Statutes
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VEHICLES625 ILCS 5/Ch. 12 Art. VIII
(625 ILCS 5/) Illinois Vehicle Code.
(625 ILCS 5/Ch. 12 Art. VIII heading)
SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS FOR SCHOOL BUSES
625 ILCS 5/12-800
(625 ILCS 5/12-800)
(from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 12-800)
(Source: P.A. 82-111. Repealed by P.A. 90-89, eff. 1-1-98.)
625 ILCS 5/12-801
(625 ILCS 5/12-801)
(from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 12-801)
The exterior of each school bus shall be national
school bus glossy yellow except as follows:
The rooftop may be white.
The fenders of school buses manufactured before January 1, 1976, may be
Body trim, rub rails, lettering other than on a stop signal arm and bumpers
on a Type I school bus shall be glossy black.
Lettering on a stop signal arm shall be white on a red background.
Bumpers on a Type II school bus may be glossy black or a bright, light
or colorless finish.
The hood and upper cowl may be lusterless black or lusterless school bus
Grilles on the front, lamp trim and hubcaps may be a bright finish.
The name or emblem of a manufacturer may be colorless or any color.
The exterior paint of any school bus shall match the central value, hue and
chroma set forth in rules promulgated by the Department.
(Source: P.A. 88-415; 89-433, eff. 12-15-95.)
625 ILCS 5/12-802
(625 ILCS 5/12-802)
(from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 12-802)
(a) Each school bus shall have the sign "SCHOOL
BUS" painted on both the front and rear of the bus as high as practicable
in letters at least 8 inches high.
(b) Each school bus and multifunction school-activity bus (MFSAB) shall have the vehicle
weight and the vehicle maximum passenger capacity recommended by the manufacturer
of the bus, which shall be based upon provision for 13 inches of seating
space for each passenger exclusive of the driver, painted on
the body to the left of the service door in letters at least 2 inches high.
The name of the owner or the entity or both for which the school bus or MFSAB is operated
shall be painted in a contrasting color on both sides, centered
as high as practicable below the window line, in letters at least 4 inches
high. An identification number shall be painted as high as practicable
on both the front and rear of the school bus or MFSAB in letters at least
4 inches high.
(c) Decals may be used instead of painting under this Section.
(Source: P.A. 96-410, eff. 7-1-10
625 ILCS 5/12-803
(625 ILCS 5/12-803)
(from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 12-803)
(a) Each school bus shall be equipped with a stop signal
arm on the driver's side of the school bus that may be operated either manually
or mechanically. For each school bus manufactured on and after September 1,
1992, the stop signal arm shall be an octagon shaped semaphore that conforms to
49 C.F.R. 571.131, "SCHOOL BUS PEDESTRIAN SAFETY DEVICES", S5.1 through S5.5.
(b) Each school bus manufactured prior to September 1, 1992 shall be
equipped with a stop signal arm that conforms to standards promulgated by the
(Source: P.A. 88-415.)
625 ILCS 5/12-804
(625 ILCS 5/12-804)
(from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 12-804)
Other vehicles - Color, stop signal arm and
No vehicle other than a school bus
shall be identified with the sign "SCHOOL BUS", shall be equipped with a
stop signal arm, shall be equipped with a strobe lamp or shall be equipped
with a warning lamp system as
described in Section 12-805 of this Act.
No commuter van or bus other than a school bus shall be painted national
school bus glossy yellow or a color
that closely resembles national school bus glossy yellow.
(Source: P.A. 81-509; 81-740; 81-1509.)
625 ILCS 5/12-805
(625 ILCS 5/12-805)
(from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 12-805)
Special lighting equipment.
Each school bus purchased as a new vehicle after December 31, 1975
shall be equipped with an 8-lamp flashing signal system. Until December
31, 1978, all other school buses shall be equipped with either a 4-lamp
or an 8-lamp flashing signal system. After December 31, 1978, all school
buses shall be equipped with an 8-lamp flashing signal system.
A 4-lamp flashing signal system shall have 2 alternately flashing red
lamps mounted as high and as widely spaced laterally on the same level
as practicable at the front of the school bus and 2 such lamps mounted
in the same manner at the rear.
An 8-lamp flashing signal system shall have, in addition to a 4-lamp
system, 4 alternately flashing amber lamps. Each amber lamp shall be
mounted next to a red lamp and at the same level but closer to the
centerline of the school bus.
Each signal lamp shall be a sealed beam at least 5 1/2 inches in
diameter and shall have sufficient intensity to be visible at 500 feet
in normal sunlight. Both the 4-lamp and 8-lamp system shall be actuated
only by means of a manual switch. There shall be a device for indicating
to the driver that the system is operating properly or is inoperative.
A school bus may also be equipped with alternately flashing head
which may be operated in conjunction with the 8-lamp flashing signal
(Source: P.A. 93-181, eff. 1-1-04.)
625 ILCS 5/12-806
(625 ILCS 5/12-806)
(from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 12-806)
Identification, stop signal arms and special lighting when
not used as a school bus.
(a) Except as provided in Section 12-806a,
whenever a school bus is operated for the purpose of transporting
passengers over 18 years of age other than persons in connection with an activity of the school
or religious organization which owns the school bus or for which the school
bus is operated, the "SCHOOL BUS" signs shall be covered or concealed and
the stop signal arm and flashing signal system shall not be operable
through normal controls.
(b) If a school district, religious organization, vendor of school buses, or school bus company whose main source of income is contracting with a school district or religious organization for the provision of transportation services in connection with the activities of a school district or religious organization, discards through either sale or donation, a school bus to an individual or entity that is not one of the aforementioned entities above, then the recipient of such school bus shall be responsible for immediately removing, covering, or concealing the "SCHOOL BUS" signs and any other insignia or words indicating the vehicle is a school bus, rendering inoperable or removing entirely the stop signal arm and flashing signal system, and painting the school bus a different color from those under Section 12-801 of this Code.
(Source: P.A. 100-277, eff. 1-1-18; 100-791, eff. 1-1-19; 100-863, eff. 8-14-18
625 ILCS 5/12-806a
(625 ILCS 5/12-806a)
(from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 12-806a)
Identification, stop signal arms, and special lighting on
school buses used to transport children outside of a school activity or persons in connection with a community based rehabilitation facility.
(a) Subject to the conditions in Subsection (c), a bus which meets any
of the special requirements for school buses in Section 12-801, 12-802,
12-803, and 12-805 of this Code may be used for the purpose of transporting
persons 18 years of age or less.
(b) Subject to the conditions in subsection (c), a bus which meets any
of the special requirements for school buses in Sections 12-801, 12-802,
12-803 and 12-805 of this Code may be used for the purpose of transporting
persons recognized as clients of a community based rehabilitation facility
which is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation
Facilities of Tucson, Arizona, and which is under a contractual agreement
with the Department of Human Services.
(c) A bus used for transportation as provided in subsection (a) or (b) shall
meet all of the special requirements for school buses in Section
12-801, 12-802, 12-803 and 12-805. A bus which meets all of the
special requirements for school buses in Section 12-801, 12-802, 12-803 and
12-805 shall be operated by a person who has a valid and properly
classified driver's license issued by the Secretary of State and who
possesses a valid school bus driver permit or is accompanied and
supervised, for the specific purpose of training prior to routine operation
of a school bus, by a person who has held a valid school bus driver permit
for at least one year.
(Source: P.A. 100-791, eff. 1-1-19
625 ILCS 5/12-807
(625 ILCS 5/12-807)
(from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 12-807)
Seat belt for driver.
Each school bus shall be equipped with a retractable lap belt assembly
for the driver's seat. No school bus shall be operated unless the driver
has properly restrained himself with the lap belt assembly.
(Source: P.A. 78-1244
625 ILCS 5/12-807.1
(625 ILCS 5/12-807.1)
(from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 12-807.1)
Seat back height.
No Type I school bus manufactured
after June 30, 1987 shall be sold for use as, or purchased for use as, or
used as a school bus within this State unless such bus is equipped with
passenger seat backs having a seat back height of 28 inches installed by
the original bus body manufacturer.
(Source: P.A. 85-1010.)
625 ILCS 5/12-807.2
(625 ILCS 5/12-807.2)
Crossing control arms.
(a) No Type I or Type II school bus may be operated or used as a school bus
within this State after December 31, 1999 unless that bus is equipped with a
crossing control arm on the front of the bus that conforms to equipment and
installation standards that the Department of Transportation shall
promulgate for purposes of this subsection.
(b) If a Type I or Type II school bus is manufactured after December 31,
1997, that bus shall not be sold for use as, or purchased for the use as, or
used as a school bus within this State unless that bus is equipped with a
crossing control arm that is installed on the front of the bus by the original
bus body manufacturer and that conforms to equipment and installation standards
that the Department shall promulgate for purposes of this subsection.
(c) A crossing control arm meeting standards promulgated by the Department
under this Section shall be designed to swing out from the front of a school
bus when the bus stops and opens its doors while school children enter or exit
the bus, as prescribed in rules promulgated by the State Board of
(d) This Section does not apply to the temporary operation in this State of
a school bus that is legally registered in another state and is displaying
valid registration plates of that state if (i) the bus is not operated in
Illinois on a regular basis, and (ii) the bus is being operated in Illinois in
connection with a cultural, tourist, athletic, or similar activity that is
sponsored by one or more schools located outside of Illinois for the benefit of
their enrolled students who are being transported to or from that activity.
(Source: P.A. 90-108, eff. 7-14-97.)
625 ILCS 5/12-808
(625 ILCS 5/12-808)
(from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 12-808)
Each school bus shall be equipped with at least one dry chemical gauge
type fire extinguisher mounted in the extinguisher manufacturer's
automobile type bracket in a position readily accessible to the driver.
(Source: P.A. 78-1244.)
625 ILCS 5/12-809
(625 ILCS 5/12-809)
(from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 12-809)
First aid kit.
Each school bus shall be equipped with a first aid kit mounted in full
view of and readily accessible to the driver.
(Source: P.A. 78-1244.)
625 ILCS 5/12-810
(625 ILCS 5/12-810)
(from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 12-810)
Restraining devices for passengers who are persons with
disabilities. Each school bus which is operated for transporting
passengers who are persons with disabilities shall be equipped with an
appropriate restraining or safety device for each such passenger.
(Source: P.A. 88-685, eff. 1-24-95.)
625 ILCS 5/12-811
(625 ILCS 5/12-811)
(from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 12-811)
Amber 3 bar clearance light.
Each type I school bus
shall be equipped with an amber 3 bar clearance light on the front of the bus. The
light shall be illuminated at all times when the bus is being operated between
sunset and sunrise and in conditions of reduced visibility.
(Source: P.A. 79-63.)
625 ILCS 5/12-812
(625 ILCS 5/12-812)
(from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 12-812)
Rules and regulations.
(a) The Department may promulgate rules and regulations to more
completely specify the equipment requirements of this Article.
(b) All rules, regulations and standards promulgated from time to
time by the State Board of Education
and the Department for
the safety and construction of school buses shall be applicable to every
motor vehicle in this State defined as a school bus under Section 1-182.
(Source: P.A. 81-1508.)
625 ILCS 5/12-812.1
(625 ILCS 5/12-812.1)
(from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 12-812.1)
(a) The Department shall adopt and promulgate rules
and regulations governing the use of liquefied petroleum gases, compressed
natural gases and liquefied natural gases as a propellant fuel in school
buses. Such rules
shall include the installation, maintenance and operation of such equipment
installed on school buses and shall be based on the generally accepted standards
of safety as recommended by the National Fire Protection Association.
(b) All school buses using liquefied petroleum gases, compressed natural
gases or liquefied natural gases as a propellant fuel must conform to and
obey any rule or regulation lawfully adopted by the Department.
(Source: P.A. 83-1027.)
625 ILCS 5/12-813.1
(625 ILCS 5/12-813.1)
School bus driver communication devices.
(a) In this Section:
"School bus driver" means a person operating a school bus who has a valid
school bus driver permit as required under Sections 6-104 and 6-106.1 of this
"Cellular radio telecommunication device" means a device capable of sending
or receiving telephone communications without an access line for service and
which requires the operator to dial numbers manually. It does not, however,
include citizens band radios or citizens band radio hybrids.
"Possession of a school bus" means the period of time from which a bus driver takes possession until the school bus driver returns possession of the school bus, whether or not the school bus driver is operating the school bus.
"Using a cellular radio telecommunication device" means talking or listening
to or dialing a cellular radio telecommunication device.
To "operate" means to have the vehicle in motion while it contains one or
(b) A school bus driver may not operate a school bus while using a cellular
radio telecommunication device.
(c) Subsection (b) of this Section does not apply:
(1) To the use of a cellular radio telecommunication
device for the purpose of communicating with any of the following regarding an emergency situation:
(A) an emergency response operator;
(B) a hospital;
physician's office or health clinic;
(D) an ambulance service;
(E) a fire department, fire district, or fire
(F) a police department.
(2) To the use of a cellular radio telecommunication
device to call for assistance in the event that there is a mechanical breakdown or other mechanical problem that impairs the safe operation of the bus or to communicate with school authorities or their designees about any other issue relating to the operation of the school bus or the welfare and safety of any passenger thereon. In no case may a cellular radio telecommunication device be used for anything not provided for in this Section, including but not limited to, personal use.
(4) When the school bus is parked.
(d) A school bus driver who violates subsection (b) of this Section is guilty of a petty
offense punishable by a fine of not less than $100 and not more than $250.
(e) A school bus must contain either an operating cellular radio telecommunication device or two-way
radio while the school bus driver is in possession of a school bus. The cellular radio telecommunication device or two-way radio in this subsection must be turned on and adjusted in a manner that would alert the school bus driver of an incoming communication request.
(Source: P.A. 96-818, eff. 11-17-09; 96-1066, eff. 7-16-10.)
625 ILCS 5/12-815
(625 ILCS 5/12-815)
(from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 12-815)
Strobe lamp on school bus.
(a) A school bus manufactured prior to January 1, 2000 may
be equipped with one strobe lamp that
will emit 60
to 120 flashes per minute of white or bluish-white light visible to a
motorist approaching the bus from any direction.
A school bus
manufactured on or after January 1, 2000 shall be equipped with one strobe lamp that will emit 60 to
per minute of white or bluish-white light visible to a motorist approaching the
The lamp shall be of
sufficient brightness to be visible in normal sunlight when viewed directly
from a distance of at least one mile.
(b) The strobe lamp shall be mounted on the rooftop of the bus with the
light generating element in the lamp located equidistant from each side
and either at or behind the center of the rooftop. The maximum height of
the element above the rooftop shall not exceed 1/30 of its distance from
the rear of the rooftop. If the structure of the strobe lamp obscures the
light generating element, the element shall be deemed to be in the center
of the lamp with a maximum height 1/4 inch less than the maximum height
of the strobe lamp unless otherwise indicated in rules and regulations
promulgated by the Department. The Department may promulgate rules and
regulations to govern measurements, glare, effectiveness and protection of
strobe lamps on school buses, including higher strobe lamps than authorized
in this paragraph.
(c) The strobe lamp may be lighted only when the school bus is
being used as a school bus and:
1. is stopping or stopped for loading or discharging
pupils on a highway outside an urban area; or
2. is bearing one or more pupils.
(Source: P.A. 95-319, eff. 8-21-07.)
625 ILCS 5/12-815.1
(625 ILCS 5/12-815.1)
Emergency exits identification.
On and after August 1, 2000,
all emergency exits of a
school bus shall be outlined around the perimeter of the exit with a minimum
one inch wide yellow reflective tape or decal. This yellow reflective tape or
decal shall be placed on the exterior surface of the school bus.
(Source: P.A. 91-168, eff. 1-1-00; 91-785, eff. 6-9-00.)
625 ILCS 5/12-815.2
(625 ILCS 5/12-815.2)
Noise suppression switch.
Any school bus manufactured on or after January 1, 2006 must be equipped with a noise suppression switch capable of turning off noise producing accessories, including: heater blowers; defroster fans; auxiliary fans; and radios. For the purposes of this Section, radios shall not include 2-way radios which transmit Global Positioning System (GPS) location and record metadata stops.
(Source: P.A. 100-667, eff. 1-1-19
625 ILCS 5/12-816
(625 ILCS 5/12-816)
Pre and post-trip inspection policy for school buses.
(a) In order to provide for the welfare and safety of children who are transported on school buses throughout the State of Illinois, each school district shall have in place, by January 1, 2008, a policy to ensure that the school bus driver is the last person leaving the bus and that no passenger is left behind or remains on the vehicle at the end of a route, a work shift, or the work day. This policy and procedure shall, at a minimum, require the school bus driver (i) to test the cellular radio telecommunication device or two-way radio and ensure that it is functioning properly before the bus is operated and (ii) before leaving the bus at the end of each route, work shift, or work day, to walk to the rear of the bus and check the bus for children or other passengers in the bus.
(b) If a school district has a contract with a private sector school bus company for the transportation of the district's students, the school district shall require in the contract with the private sector company that the company have a post-trip inspection policy in place.
This policy and procedure shall, at a minimum, require the school bus driver (i) to test the cellular radio telecommunication device or two-way radio and ensure that it is functioning properly before the bus is operated and (ii) before leaving the bus at the end of each route, work shift, or work day, to walk to the rear of the bus and check the bus for children or other passengers in the bus.
(c) Before this inspection, the school bus driver shall activate the interior lights of the bus to assist the driver in seeing in and under the seats during a visual sweep of the bus.
(d) This policy may include, at the discretion of the school district, the installation of a mechanical or electronic post-trip inspection reminder system which requires the school bus driver to walk to the rear of the bus to deactivate the system before the driver leaves the bus. The system shall require that when the driver turns off the vehicle's ignition system, the vehicle's interior lights must illuminate to assist the driver in seeing in and under the seats during a visual sweep of the bus.
(Source: P.A. 95-260, eff. 8-17-07; 96-818, eff. 11-17-09; 96-1066, eff. 7-16-10.)
625 ILCS 5/12-820
(625 ILCS 5/12-820)
(from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 12-820)
Nursery school buses.
The Department of Transportation, after conducting a Public Hearing,
may, by regulation,
modify and supplement
the requirements pertaining to seat dimensions, spacing and height from
the floor and to
other safety features in the interior of a school bus used to transport
when such modification or supplementing will enhance the safety of the bus
(Source: P.A. 85-828.)
625 ILCS 5/12-821
(625 ILCS 5/12-821)
Display of telephone number; complaint calls.
(a) Each school bus and multifunction school-activity bus shall display at the rear of the bus a sign, with letters and numerals readily visible and readable, indicating the area code and telephone number of the owner of the bus, regardless of whether the owner is a school district or another person or entity. The sign shall be in the following form:
"TO COMMENT ON MY DRIVING, CALL (area code and telephone number of bus owner)".
A school bus owner who placed a sign conforming to the requirements of Public Act 95-176 on a school bus before January 1, 2010 (the effective date of Public Act 96-655) may continue to use that sign on that school bus rather than a sign that conforms to the requirements of Public Act 96-655; however, if the school bus owner replaces that sign, the replacement sign shall conform to the requirements of Public Act 96-655.
(b) The owner of each school bus or multifunction school-activity bus shall establish procedures for accepting the calls provided for under subsection (a) and for taking complaints.
(c) The procedures established under subsection (b) shall include, but not be limited to:
(1) an internal investigation of the events that led
(2) a report to the complaining party on the results
of the investigation and the action taken, if any.
(Source: P.A. 95-176, eff. 1-1-08; 96-410, eff. 7-1-10; 96-655, eff. 1-1-10; 96-1000, eff. 7-2-10.)
625 ILCS 5/12-825
(625 ILCS 5/12-825)
Extracurricular activities; passengers.
(a) Each school bus operated by a public or private primary or secondary school transporting students enrolled in grade 12 or below for a school related athletic event or other school approved extracurricular activity shall be registered under subsection (a) of Section 3-808 of this Code, comply with school bus driver permit requirements under Section 6-104 of this Code, comply with the minimum liability insurance requirements under Section 12-707.01 of this Code, and comply with special requirements pertaining to school buses under this Chapter.
(b) Each school bus that operates under subsection (a) of this Section may be used for the transportation of passengers other than students enrolled in grade 12 or below for activities that do not involve either a public or private educational institution if the school bus driver or school bus owner complies with Section 12-806 of this Code and the "SCHOOL BUS" sign under Section 12-802 of this Code is either removed or obscured so that it is not visible to other motorists.
(Source: P.A. 100-241, eff. 1-1-18; 100-863, eff. 8-14-18.)