The Iowa Transportation Commission today (Tuesday) approved, and the director of the Iowa Department of Transportation subsequently adopted, an emergency administrative rule that increases the administrative driving privilege sanctions for illegally passing a stopped school bus. The rule takes effect Wednesday, Aug. 15, allowing it to be in effect at the start of the 2012-13 school year.
Earlier this year, Governor Branstad signed into law Senate File 2218, the Keep Aware Driving – Youth Need School Safety Act (commonly known as Kadyn’s Law), that increased the criminal penalties for passing a stopped school bus and directed the Iowa DOT to enact rules that make illegally passing a stopped school bus a serious moving violation that triggers increasing periods of suspension for first, second and subsequent offenses. The new rule provides that a person’s Iowa driving privilege will be suspended 30 days for a first conviction, 90 days for a second conviction, and 180 days for a third or subsequent conviction.
In addition, fines for a first offense range from $250-to $675, and/or 30-days in jail. A second offense comes with fines ranging from $315-to $1,875, along with a possible prison sentence of up to one-year. The same penalties are possible for a third or subsequent offense, in addition to the 180-day license suspension.
Any offense causing serious injury to another person may also cause the person responsible to face a fine of $500. Any offense causing the death of another person while passing a school bus, will result in a $1,000 fine and suspension of your license for up to 180-days. Officials say it’s important to remember, that offenses which cause serious injury or death associated with the passing of a school bus, such as OWI, reckless driving, eluding or attempting to elude a law enforcement vehicle, are Class-B felonies, which can carry fines of up to $10,000, a mandatory restitution of $150,000, and a mandatory prison term of 25-years. Your license will also be suspended for six-years.
Kim Snook, director of the Iowa DOT’s Office of Driver Services, said, “We hope that these increased penalties and sanctions will make driver’s think twice before foolishly choosing to pass a stopped school bus. More than thinking about their own penalty, however, we hope they will remember and recognize that passing a stopped school bus threatens the life of a child.”