Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Traffic Laws to be Enforced on D200 Grounds

Take This Test…

Assuming you are driving a car at one of Woodstock’s D200 schools; i.e., on the school grounds. Can you be ticketed for:

Running a stop sign?
Parking and blocking a sidewalk?
Blocking traffic?
Passing a schoolbus with its flashing red lights on and its Stop arm out?

Right now, tonight and for the next few days, you can break just about any Illinois traffic law on school grounds and not get arrested.

A few of the exceptions are #5 and DUI. I think Reckless Driving (including tire-squealing) may also be an exception.

But this is about to change. At tonight’s Woodstock City Council meeting an Ordinance was passed creating a Vehicular Control Contract between District 200 and the Woodstock Police Department. This means that Woodstock police officers can enforce state traffic laws and local traffic laws on school property.

At the City Council meeting tonight I asked if the Contract contained a requirement that D200 must post its property to inform drivers that the Woodstock Police Department will enforce traffic laws. It doesn’t. So this might be the only warning you’ll get. Pass the word to drivers in your families, neighbors, co-workers, friends, and others. Better yet, just forward the URL for this article to them. To get the URL, click on the title of the article. To get back to all the articles, click on the name The Woodstock Advocate.

I inquired of Mayor Sager, who spoke for the Council, whether a similar Contract exists for Marian Central Catholic High School or any of the schools operated by churches in Woodstock. There is none. Any of them can initiate a request for a Vehicle Control Contract, but the City will not solicit a Contract from them.

Surprised that there wasn’t already such an contract with D200? I was.

It’ll take a few days for the Contract to be filed with the McHenry County Recorder of Deeds, and then it becomes effective three days later, if the Contract follows the form of a similar contract proposed, but never completed, a couple of years ago with the property owners of the Jewel-Osco property.

You’re still safe at Jewel-Osco if you run stop signs, fail to stop for pedestrians in crosswalks, park or stand (your car) in the Fire Lane, or park or stand in the Loading Zone. However, don’t park in the handicap parking zones. That one will cost you $250.00. If you get your jollies by running those legal-appearing stop signs, just keep doing it. But one day you may be surprised.

My thanks and appreciation to Councilwoman Maureen Larson, who supported my request for this item on the Consent Agenda to be pulled for discussion.


Anonymous said...

Passing the School bus,

Yes. Look it up you moroon.

Gus said...

Passing a stopped school bus whose red lights and stop arm are in use is so common that area police departments send letters to drivers who pass buses in school parking lots. Some drivers may think that, because the buses are not on the public highway or roadway, that passing them is permitted. State law says it is not. Some departments even issue tickets for that violation.