Stopped school bus laws, many drivers break them - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Stopped school bus laws, many drivers break them

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IOWA CITY (KWWL) -

With the fall school year back in session, you've probably noticed more and more school buses on the roads.

“I see school buses everywhere.” said driver Christina Patramanis. “Really feel the need to be extra careful when I see them.”

The Iowa Department of Transportation agrees.

However all too often when school bus stop arms are out, drivers roll right past violating school bus stop arm laws.

“If you see the stop arm for the bus, that means you have to stop,” said Abdallah Elftih. “Just like regular stop signs.”

Elftih has an 8-year old who catches the bus.

The Iowa City School District says violating stopped school bus laws is a serious problem.

Last year the district added a second stop arm to the back of every bus and a stop arm camera to help police track down offenders.

“So it's double chance to stop, so that means 100 percent,” said Elftih.

According the Iowa DOT and state law, drivers on both sides of two- or three-way roads are not permitted to pass the school bus if the stop arm and flashing red warning lights are on. Even if there's a center turn lane.

When it comes to four lane streets, only the drivers directly behind the bus must stop. If you're in the opposite-direction lanes you do not need to stop.

In 2012, Gov. Terry Branstad signed into law the “Keep Aware Driving — Youth Need School Safety Act,” also known as “Kadyn’s Law.”

Seven year old Kadyn Halverson was struck and killed by a driver while she was crossing the street to board her school bus.

Kadyn’s Law increases penalties for failure to obey school bus warning lights and stop signal arms.

For a first offense, the fine is at least $250 and could be as high as $675. The court may order imprisonment of up to 30 days in lieu of or in addition to the fine. A conviction also means a 30-day driver’s license suspension.

For more on Kadyn’s Law and increased penalties for violation CLICK HERE

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