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Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

Lincoln Daily News publishes letters to the editor as they are received.
 The letters are not edited in content and do not necessarily reflect 
the views of Lincoln Daily News.

Lincoln Daily News requests that writers responding to controversial issues address the issue and refrain from personal attacks. Thank you!


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You may also send your letters by e-mail to ldneditor@lincolndailynews.com
or by U.S. postal mail to:

Letters to the Editor
Lincoln Daily News
601 Keokuk St.
Lincoln, IL  62656

Letters must include the writer's name, telephone number, and postal address or e-mail address (we will not publish address or phone number information). Lincoln Daily News reserves the right to edit letters to reduce their size or to correct obvious errors. Lincoln Daily News reserves the right to reject any letter for any reason. Lincoln Daily News will publish as many acceptable letters as space allows.

Thank you, Community Action          Send a link to a friend

We would like to publicly express our appreciation to those who work at Community Action. Two months ago, we introduced the Meals on Wheels program to the Elkhart residents. Those who participate have been very appreciative and very complimentary about the meals. The only problem is -- those who plan, prepare and deliver the meals to us for delivery never get to hear the compliments and the appreciation that we hear when we deliver them. So, thank you to all those involved -- you do a great job.   

Steve and Boo Anderson and Joan Hinds
Elkhart Meals on Wheels delivery team

(Posted Nov. 5, 2004)

'Rules of the Road' not being followed          Send a link to a friend

Editor's note: When LDN received this letter to the editor, we thought it serious enough that we called Chief of Police Robert Rawlins. Many disputes are resolved when the parties speak directly to each other.

Chief Rawlins called the author of this letter, gathered more information and has personally looked into this matter. We have included Chief Rawlins' response letter.

LDN is publishing this letter today to bring awareness to you because it is an issue that plagues communities across the nation. Maybe you can be a part of helping curb this problem locally by collecting information if you are a witness to it.


I am writing this letter to address an issue that is continuously becoming worse. All over Lincoln we have several buses dropping our children off at different times of the day. I have seen on several occasions where cars are just driving by these buses with their lights on and safety bars extended.

As a parent I notified the Lincoln Police Department and was told that it was the bus company's problem and not mine.

After speaking to the bus drivers, they said that they have turned in many offenders to the police with all the information, and the police continue to do nothing. It is now getting to the point where drivers are waving signs saying, "No tickets. Ha-ha."

As a parent I am to trust that the bus company will do everything possible for the safety of my children. When the citizens of Lincoln decide to break a "Rule of the Road," putting my and other children at risk, I find it appalling that the Lincoln Police Department refuse to do [something] about this situation. With a newly elected chief of police in office, it would be nice to see action taken on all matters instead of what your police feel like doing that day.

Anthony Rahn

(Posted Nov. 5, 2004)

[to top of second column]

Response from Chief Rawlins

REF: School bus passing

Please find attached [click here] a copy of the Illinois law titled "Approaching, overtaking, and passing school bus," Section 625 5/11-1414. Also attached is Illinois law titled "Stop signal arm," Section 625 5/12-803, and Illinois law titled "Special lighting equipment," Section 625 5/12-805. Sections 12-803 and 12-805 state what the school bus must have for equipment to satisfy law 11-1414.

I have reviewed reports filed with the Lincoln Police Department since the beginning of the year (2004) for violations on school bus passing. We have documented seven reports. Of the seven reports, two drivers were issued citations for violating Section 625 5/11-1414. Three drivers had not been located due to some misinformation. The license plate number given to the reporting officer at the time of the report was not a valid license plate. Two reports were sent to the state's attorney for his review on the incident.

Most of our reports about school bus passing come from the bus drivers. A report from someone else other than the bus driver can be made if they view the violation of this law.

A lot of times the bus driver is busy assisting with passengers and does not see the violation or cannot get the needed information. If someone other than the bus driver reports the incident, the bus driver will be contacted to see if they can add anything to the report.

The Lincoln Police Department needs a valid license plate from the vehicle in order to track down a suspected violator; this is a very important item. Without the license plate number, there is usually no way to track the violator down. If the reporting person can give a description of the driver, along with a make, model and color of the vehicle, this is a plus.

If the reporting officer is given this important information, they will track the violator down and a citation will be issued to them.

When the Lincoln Police Department is advised of this violation and the reporting person does not want to get involved, the Lincoln Police Department will send a squad car to the reported location during the reported times of the bus pickup or drop-off and will monitor and take action when needed.

To violate this law, certain things must be in place. The bus has to be stopped at the time, for the purpose of loading or unloading of pupils. The stop signal arm must be out and the alternate flashing red signal lamps must be on. If these are present and a driver of a vehicle passes the school bus, at this point the driver is in violation of the law.

The penalty for violating Section 625 5/11-1414 states that the secretary of state shall suspend for a period of three months the driving privileges of any person convicted of the violation. The mandatory fine is $150 for the first offense.

The Lincoln Police Department will actively enforce this law to help protect the safety of our children in the community.

Robert Rawlins
Chief of Police
Lincoln Police Department

(Posted Nov. 5, 2004)

[Click here for the Illinois laws referred to in this letter.]


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