Safety

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 5 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?

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