House passes measure to bolster illegal bus passing laws

Kelly Roher
Posted on June 28, 2012
Representatives approved "Kadyn's Amendment," which would allocate at least $10 million to helping states enforce illegal bus passing laws.
Photo by Wikipedia user Ottojula

Representatives approved "Kadyn's Amendment," which would allocate at least $10 million to helping states enforce illegal bus passing laws.

Photo by Wikipedia user Ottojula

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. House of Representatives has unanimously voted to add “Kadyn’s Amendment” to a federal bill geared toward helping states enforce traffic laws related to illegal school bus passing.   

Kadyn’s Amendment was authored by Rep. Bruce Braley of Iowa. The provision would devote at least $10 million of federal funding for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to strengthening the enforcement of existing state laws that prohibit motorists from passing stopped school buses that have warning lights flashing and stop arms extended.

“When reckless drivers ignore warnings and pass stopped school buses, children’s lives are put at risk,” Braley said. “The budget-neutral ‘Kadyn’s Amendment’ will strengthen the enforcement of laws punishing drivers who ignore school bus warning lights without costing taxpayers another penny. This measure will help save lives and convince drivers to slow down and act more responsibly around kids and schools.
The amendment is named after 7-year-old Kadyn Halverson, who was fatally struck by a pickup truck in May 2011 as she crossed the street to board her school bus near Northwood, Iowa.

In March, Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad signed into law legislation that increases the penalties for drivers in the state who illegally pass stopped school buses, as SBF previously reported.   

Shortly thereafter, Braley introduced Kadyn’s Act, a bill modeled after Iowa’s new law, to require states to strengthen penalties for drivers who pass stopped school buses or risk losing federal highway funding. Braley said that even with the House's passage of Kadyn’s Amendment this week, he will continue working to pass Kadyn’s Act.

Rep. Tom Latham, also of Iowa, authored the transportation funding bill that Kadyn’s Amendment was attached to. Braley and Latham worked together to gain support for the amendment from the full House, and Latham’s support was essential to its passage, officials said.

Braley discusses the problem of illegal school bus passing in the U.S., and the specifications of Kadyn’s Amendment, in the C-SPAN video below.

Related Topics: fatalities, stop-arm running/illegal passing

Comments ( 1 )
  • Mary

     | about 6 years ago

    As a bus driver I see this happen 2-3 times a week. Not only do the penalties need to be increased but our court system needs to uphold them. The last one to run my lights was pulled over by the police and my cost as a driver turned out to be higher than the one who broke the law in lost wages and parking fees for the court appearance. The judge said "I needed to understand that teachers and nurses are good people who do not intentionally try to hurt children". The statement had nothing to do with anything and in my opinion, the parents of a child who is run over will not find comfort in the that fact. I did not like the message sent in the courtroom- that a slap on the wrist, pay $50 and out the door you go... How do we make our judges in local jurisdictions follow through?

More Stories
Photo courtesy IMMI/SafeGuard

4 Keys for Enforcing Seat Belt Use

Although buckling up is a habit for many kids, bus drivers need a policy, training, and community support behind them for successful enforcement. Convertible seats help with implementation.

Robert Sumwalt has been sworn in as the National Transportation Safety Board’s 14th chairman. Photo courtesy NTSB

Robert Sumwalt Named Chairman of NTSB

Sumwalt’s nomination for a two-year term by President Donald Trump is confirmed by the Senate and he is sworn in. Sumwalt has been serving as the agency’s acting chairman since March 31.

Video from a North Carolina school bus shows three cars hitting the bus one after the other, then speeding off. Shown here is an image from the video, which the Wilmington Police Department shared on its Facebook page.

3 Cars Hit North Carolina School Bus

School bus video footage shows the cars hitting the left side of the bus one after the other and speeding off after the bus driver drops off a student. 

Last year’s SBF Administrator of the Year award went to Ingrid Reitano (left) of New Jersey. She is seen here with her daughter, Tracy Lynch.

Nominate a Great Transportation Director

Know an exemplary school transportation director who deserves recognition? School Bus Fleet is accepting nominations for our Administrator of the Year award.

Be the First to Know

Get the latest news and most popular articles from SBF delivered straight to your inbox. Stay on top of the school bus industry and don't miss a thing!