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August 15, 2012  |   Comments (2)   |   Post a comment

Iowa adopts increased sanctions for illegal bus passing


AMES, Iowa — A new rule takes effect today that increases the administrative driving privilege sanctions for illegally passing a stopped school bus.

The rule was approved by the Iowa Transportation Commission, and the director of the Iowa Department of Transportation adopted the emergency administrative rule that is in keeping with the provisions of legislation signed into law earlier this year by Gov. Terry Branstad.  

The Keep Aware Driving — Youth Need School Safety Act (commonly known as Kadyn’s Law) signed by Branstad increased the criminal penalties for passing a stopped school bus, and it directed the Iowa Department of Transportation to enact rules that make illegally passing a stopped school bus a serious moving violation that triggers increasing periods of suspension for first, second and subsequent offenses.

The new rule that takes effect today provides that a person’s driving privilege in the state will be suspended 30 days for a first conviction, 90 days for a second conviction and 180 days for a third or subsequent conviction.   

“We hope that these increased penalties and sanctions will make drivers think twice before foolishly choosing to pass a stopped school bus,” said Kim Snook, director of the Iowa Department of Transportation’s Office of Driver Services. “More than thinking about their own penalty, however, we hope they will remember and recognize that passing a stopped school bus threatens the life of a child. The few seconds gained is not worth risking a child’s life.”

For more information on the administrative sanctions for motorists convicted of illegally passing a stopped school bus, go here and scroll down toward the bottom of the page.

Other news related to illegal school bus passing:

• House passes measure to bolster illegal bus passing laws

• Bus stop near-miss makes for powerful lesson

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Read more about: Iowa, stop arm running/illegal passing

While it is great to see increased laws governing the school Bus Stop Violations NOBODY has addressed law enforcements weak attempts to enforce these laws. Here in Cedar Rapids, Iowa out local Police issue less than 30% of reported violations citations contrary the the code. the Code states that once "reasonable belief" that a violation has occured, an Officer SHALL prepare and SHALL issue a citation to the driver of the vehicle. IF they cannot identify the driver then the Officer SHALL prepare and SHALL issue the citation to the owner of the vehicle. It is clear as to what the Legislature wanted when they wrote that law. IT DON"T MATTER how stiff they make breaking this Law Code 321.372 if the Law enforcement people don't enforce it. The Iowa State Patrol however out of Cedar Rapids issue more than 90% of the reported violations citations for a comparison. Needless to say, last year I took my violation reports directly to the State patrol to investigate (Code 321.372A) as I get the desired results through them. No one wants to confront or question the feeble attempts of our local Police regarding their dismal enforcement of this very serious issue. Perhaps the Legislature should walk down that path for once. In addition, our County attorney will not prosecute this violation unless the driver is identified. Mr. Vandersanden is on the record by stating that unless they can identify the driver his office will not prosecute even though the Code clearly states they can. How about that folks? Pass all the laws you want but unless they enforced what difference will it make. The "culture" of ingnoring our School Buses and School Children will continue with a target on their backs that seems to be getting bigger. I am a Cedar Rapids School Bus driver and a concerned one at that!

John Adams    |    Aug 17, 2012 04:04 PM

Purposely passing a stopped school bus picking up or discharging students is a "child endangerment" law statute violation. This traffic violation 3 tier license suspension for passing a stopped school bus loading or unloading students is definitely a step in the right direction. What makes it sad is that it has taken many many children being killed over the past years before we even have legislators enact such "new" law statutes. I am not trying to burst anyone's bubble here but our school systems needed these laws and more enforcement many many years ago. I've had people drive up on the side walk to get around my school bus back in 1986. How long was I stopped to pick up a child when that happened? Approximately 30 to 40 seconds. If the child had not jumped up onto the entry door steps he would have been ran over. The children who are run over are considered a traffic accident with fatality. I appreciate very much that legislators are putting more law statutes into effect to protect school children. I only wish the laws were much stronger many many years ago. Child endangerment is a law statute worth looking up in your state you live in. It is an additional charge that the Prosecutors can bring against traffic violators when they run over school children. Any statutes that help prosecute this type of crime is another tool that prosecutors should use in court. Again, thank you to those seriously working to keep children safer and alive going to and from school. Dan - Indiana.

Dan Luttrell    |    Aug 17, 2012 04:37 AM

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