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.