Northwest Iowa — School has been back in session for a couple of weeks around northwest Iowa, and normally during the early days of the school year motorists need to be reminded about interaction with school buses.
In 2012, the Iowa Legislature unanimously adopted “Kadyn’s Law.” The law was in response to the death of 7-year old Kadyn Jade Halverson who was struck by a pickup and killed while trying to cross the road to board a school bus.
The driver of the pickup violated Iowa’s stop arm law which prohibits drivers from passing a stopped school bus with the stop arms out, or when the red or amber lights are flashing.
Kadyn’s Law put some teeth into the penalties for violating Iowa’s stop arm law, as Iowa State Patrol Trooper Vince Kurtz tells us.
Trooper Kurtz reminds drivers that vehicles following a bus are not the only ones who are required to stop.
At the beginning of each school year we seem to hear reports of several drivers who violate Kadyn’s Law, but we’re happy to report that, as of Friday morning, that hasn’t been a major problem in the four-county area.
KIWA talked to Sheldon Schools Superintendent Cory Myer, and he says that Sheldon buses have reported no violations of Kadyn’s Law. At South O’Brien Schools they say they usually see a couple of violations each year, but thus far this school year there have been no reports. Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn Schools report no violations, as well.
In checking with area law enforcement agencies, we are happy to report that the O’Brien County Sheriff’s Office says they have received no reports. In Sioux County, Deputy Jamie Van Voorst says there have been a couple of violations reported to police departments in that county, but numbers are quite low. Lyon County Sheriff Stewart Vander Stoep says they usually receive five or six complaints each year, but so far have received no complaints. The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office reports one violation of Kadyn’s Law so far this year.
Trooper Kurtz tells KIWA that the only northwest Iowa school district that he has heard of who are reporting a large number of violations is Le Mars.
Just as a reminder, when you see a school bus with it’s yellow lights flashing, it’s preparing to stop, and you should prepare to stop, as well. When the red lights are flashing and the stop arm is extended you are required to stop, regardless of whether you are approaching the bus from the front or from the rear.
Please obey Kadyn’s Law, stop for stopped school buses, and keep our children safe.