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By Trent Kuhl

March 05, 2012

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Recently, the Iowa Senate, unanimously passed a bill that would increase the penalties for passing a Stopped School Bus when the lights are flashing and the Stop Arm is out. The bill has been named after a7yr. old girl, Kaydn Halverson of Kensette, Iowa after she was killed by a speeding vehicle that passed through a stop arm and flashing lights on a school bus.
According to the National Association of Directors of Pupil Transportation Services, on one day last year, almost 112,000 bus drivers from 28 states reported more than 37,756 motorist passed a stopped bus illegally. In Iowa alone there were 327 incidents reported by 2,295 schools and this was for just one day.

In Iowa, the law requires motorist to slow down to 20 mph when approaching a school bus with its amber lights flashing. A vehicle must come to a complete stop when a bus has its red warning light on and the stop arm is extended.

Under the bill, the current fine for passing a stopped bus is $200 and no jail time. The new law will increase the fine to up to $675 and up to 30 days in jail, for the 1st offense, 2nd offense would be a fine up to $1875 and up to 1 year in prison. Motorists will face a much stiffer penalty if their actions cause serious injury or death.

Remember, nothing you have to do is more important than a child’s life, so whether you’re late for work, school or even a doctor’s appointment, PLEASE STOP  every time you see a bus with it’s warning lights on and the Stop arm extended, it could save a life.

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