Bus Law

By: Erica Hurtt
By: Erica Hurtt

Legislators will reexamine a law aimed at making charter buses safer for Illinois children.

A new law requiring motor coach carriers to undergo school bus driver testing was scheduled to go into effect on Jan. 1. But it's been delayed.

Big changes headed Trip Bellows’ way have hit the brakes. He's the General Manager for Rockford Coach Lines and under new legislation his drivers would have to undergo several new tests.

"The unfortunate thing is we as an industry didn't have our ear to the ground in Springfield,” explains Bellows.

The law passed this summer and now delayed requires motor coach drivers to undergo background checks, fingerprinting and school bus driving tests.

Bellows says he's concerned whether school bus testing would be effective. He says motor coaches and school buses are very different.

"The motor coaches are much bigger much heavier. They don't have the same features as school buses. They don't have the swinging doors, the blinking lights. They're so different,” says Bellows.

Lawmakers are working to address the concerns of motor coach carriers.

Senator Syverson says, “There were some problems with the bill so I sponsored a bill to postpone the legislation until July 1."

Syverson hopes that will give motor coach carriers and lawmakers time to hammer out a law that is safe and sensible.

Bellows says the industry supports background checks and fingerprinting, and they already have stringent drug testing and physical testing in place.


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