Trooper Krull Talks School Bus Safety

Northwest Iowa — Schools around the area have been back in session for several days and with the return of students to class, we also see the return of school buses to our streets and highways.

We know that it’s illegal to pass a stopped school bus, but Iowa State Patrol Trooper Kevin Krull says there are times when it’s perfectly legal to pass a school bus.

(As above) “You can pass a school bus as long as it doesn’t have it’s warning lights on. When we’re talking school bus safety we’re talking when that school bus has it’s red or amber lights flashing. And then, obviously, with the red lights comes the stop arm coming out. You just want to avoid passing that.”

Trooper Krull says motorists from both directions are required to stop for a bus with it’s red lights flashing and stop arm extended, when on a two-lane road.

(As above) “So on a two-lane road you need to stop behind that school bus, or in front of that school bus depending which direction you’re coming from. And we ask people to stay back at least fifteen feet. That fifteen feet gives the driver of the school bus, and also yourself as the driver of the car, the chance to see where those kids are and those danger spots, and just gives everybody a little bit more room.”

While drivers on the opposite side from a bus on a four-lane divided highway don’t need to worry too much about the school bus’ flashing lights Trooper Krull urges you to remain alert.

(As above) “I would still suggest keeping your eyes open at that time frame, just in case some weird thing would happen, like the kids would have been playing before the bus got there maybe, or something flew out of their bag and they had to chase it across the street.”

Krull says Kadyn’s Law, a measure named for 7-year-old Kadyn Halverson, elevated passing a stopped school bus to a criminal offense.

(As above) “Kadyn’s Law is a tragic thing (from) north-central Iowa. A young girl was struck and killed by a pickup truck that failed to stop for the school bus stop arm. And what that law basically did, it made the school bus stop arm a criminal offense. So now, rather than just being a traffic violation, you’re looking at a simple misdemeanor if you violate that law the first time.”

Although the crime is a simple misdemeanor, Trooper Krull says it comes with a fairly stiff penalty.

(As above) “You’re looking at a minimum of a $250 fine plus costs, so you’re probably going to be just over $300 for that violation. Now the important thing to remember about this violation is, it’s not just your simple traffic violation, you can actually lose your license, and you WILL lose your driver’s license for thirty days, if you violate this law.”

Krull says the fines and license suspensions increase for subsequent violations, but he reminds us that the fine amounts and license suspensions pale in comparison to the death or injury of a child.




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