Do You Know When It’s Legal To Pass A School Bus in Iowa?
As school starts across the Hawkeye state this week, the Iowa State Patrol has a very important reminder for drivers: STOP for the school bus.
According to KCRG (via KCCI), seven-year-old Kadyn Halverson died in 2011 after being struck by a pickup while trying to board a school bus. This led to the creation of Kadyn's Law in Iowa. Kadyn's Law was unanimously passed in 2012 and lays out the succession of fines and punishments for Iowans failing to stop for a bus with its stop sign arm out.
- First offense: A fine of anywhere from $250-$675, and/or imprisonment of up to 30 days, as well as a 30-day driver's license suspension.
- Second offense: If a driver is caught twice within five years passing a stopped school bus with its STOP arm out or red/amber lights flashing, it results in a fine of at least $315, but not more than $1,875, and/or imprisonment not to exceed one year, and a 90-day license suspension.
- Third offense (in five years): A fine of at least $315, but not more than $1,875, and/or imprisonment not to exceed one year, and a 180-day license suspension.
The Iowa State Patrol says if you think you won't get caught, think again. If risking the life of a child doesn't deter you, there's a good chance you will get found out as there are cameras outside the school bus in most cases. They will capture license plate information, make, model, and who is driving. As Iowa State Patrol Sgt. Alex Dinkla noted, the drivers and school officials can simply out a form using information from the images captured, "submit it to their bus transportation director, and ultimately law enforcement is going to get notified.”
According to the Iowa Department of Transportation, there is only one instance where you legally do not need to stop for a school bus:
When meeting the bus in one of the opposite two lanes (or more), you do not need to stop, even if the bus has stopped with lights flashing and stop arm out. The bus is not permitted to load or unload children who must cross this type of roadway unless there are official traffic control devices or law enforcement present. This is the only time you may pass a school bus that is stopped and has its stop arm extended.
Learn about all the penalties that could come your way via Kadyn's Law by violating these penalties here.