Close calls with Decorah school buses prompt DOT advisory - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Close calls with Decorah school buses prompt DOT advisory


Close calls with school buses along a heavily traveled eastern Iowa highway has prompted an advisory from the Iowa Department of Transportation.

In the wake of Kadyn Halverson's death last year and the resulting Kadyn's law bill now in the state legislature, more attention is being paid to enforcing running through school bus stop signs.

Some bus drivers in the Decorah School District say people are ignoring the rules of the road.

This three-lane stretch of Highway 9 West of Decorah has been an area of concern in recent weeks.

A Decorah school district bus driver reported to the Iowa DOT there have been too many close calls with drivers ignoring warning signals on the bus.

"You're supposed to stop even on the yellow flashing light from behind, have either went around him from behind on the left or on occasion where they went by on the same side of the traveled portion of the road the kids would be getting on or off," said Jim Samuelson, Decorah Schools Transportation Director.

Just a few families live along that stretch of road, but an in-home daycare is there.

School officials say undivided passing zones on hills surrounding Decorah pose the most problems.

"Our main U.S. highways are the worst as far as stop sign runs and they're more severe because they're at a higher rate of speed and they're just not paying as much attention on the main highway," said Samuelson.

The DOT has added signs in each direction along Highway 9 but signs can only do so much.

Officials stress - drivers, no matter where they are, should remember the rules of the road.

"Our automobiles, cell phones, clothes we wear are all replaceable. What we need to watch out the most is our most precious resource, which is our kids. We cannot replace our kids lives," said Samuelson.

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