November 7, 2018
On behalf of the Bondurant-Farrar Community School District, we’d like to take a moment to inform you of the importance of school bus safety, the traffic laws enforced upon motorists, and the consequences of violating these laws. At the conclusion of this note, it is our hope that you have a better understanding of school bus safety laws and recognize that passing a stopped school bus threatens the life of a child.
The State of Iowa adopted Kadyn’s Law in 2012 after her death. A motorist struck and killed Kadyn, a 7 year old student, while she was trying to cross the road to board a school bus. With the adoption of the law came increased penalties, including fines, license suspension, and possible imprisonment.
What You Need To Know As A Motorist:
The Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) is a great resource for understanding the traffic laws associated with school bus safety. Because a majority of our daily bus routes travel on either two or three lane roads, the related traffic laws have been included below. While NE Hubbell Ave / Highway 65 crosses through our district, our school buses do not stop to board or deboard students on this four lane road.
When traveling on a two or three lane road:
- Approaching the bus from the rear: When you see flashing red or amber warning lights, you are not permitted to pass the school bus and should be prepared to stop. Stop behind the school bus when the school bus stops and the stop arm is extended. Stop no closer than 15 feet from the rear of the bus, and remain stopped until the stop arm is retracted and school bus starts moving again. Proceed with caution.
- Meeting the bus from the front: When you see amber warning lights flashing you must slow your vehicle to no more than 20 mph and be prepared to stop. Stop in front of the school bus when the school bus stops and its stop arm is extended. Remain stopped until the stop arm is retracted. Proceed with caution.
We encourage you to visit the Iowa DOT website for additional information, graphics that explain different scenarios, and laws for traveling on a road with two or more lanes in each direction.
Consequences for violating school bus safety laws can include license suspension and monetary fines, as well as imprisonment. With the first offense, fines range from $250-$675 and include a mandatory 30-day license suspension. As explained by the Iowa DOT, fines and suspension length increase with each additional offense and severity.
In conclusion, we’d like to stress the importance of being cautious around school buses, not only for your safety, but also the safety of our children. When you see flashing red or amber lights on a school bus, slow down and prepare to stop. Be mindful of the children preparing to board or deboard the school bus. Help us to ensure that all students arrive home safely each and every day.
With questions regarding school bus safety and related traffic laws, please contact us at the information below.
Mary Jo Hetrick Deputy Jason Sadler
Director of Transportation School Resource Officer
Phone: 515-967-7819 Phone: 515-957-8191
Email: email@example.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org