AMES- On Aug. 14 the Iowa Transportation Commission approved and the director of the Iowa Department of Transportation subsequently adopted an emergency administrative rule that increases the administrative driving privilege sanctions for illegally passing a stopped school bus.
The rule took effect Wednesday, Aug. 15, allowing it to be in effect at the start of the 2012-13 school year.
Earlier this year, Governor Branstad signed into law Senate File 2218, the Keep Aware Driving Youth Need School Safety Act (commonly known as Kadyn's Law), that increased the criminal penalties for passing a stopped school bus and directed the Iowa DOT 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 provides that a person's Iowa driving privilege will be suspended 30 days for a first conviction, 90 days for a second conviction, and 180 days for a third or subsequent conviction.
Passed unanimously in the Iowa House and Senate, the law is aimed at preventing other tragic deaths and serious injuries to Iowa's school children while boarding or unloading from a school bus. On May 10, 2011, Kadyn Halverson, age 7, of Northwood, was struck by a pickup while trying to cross the road to board a school bus.
According to the recently released Second Annual School Bus Illegal Passing Driver Survey sponsored by the National Association of State Directors of Public Transportation, there has been a marked increase in the number of motorists who blow past the school bus arm and flashing red lights. The number of vehicles illegally passing a school bus during a one-day count conducted earlier this year was 43.7 percent, as compared to 38.2 percent in 2011.