Kadyn’s Law - Iowa School Bus Safety (September 2016 School Leader Update)
In 2012, the Iowa Legislature unanimously adopted Kadyn’s law. The law was in response to the death of 7-year-old name 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 - prohibiting drivers from passing a stopped school bus with the stop arms out or when the red or amber lights are flashing.
Kadyn’s law increased the criminal penalties for passing a stopped school bus and increased the license sanctions for these offenses. Under Kadyn’s law, an individual who is convicted of failing to stop for a school bus stop arm will be subjected to the following punishment for unlawful passing of a school bus under Iowa Code section 321.372(5)(b):
First Offense - A fine of at least $250 but not more than $675, and/or imprisonment not to exceed 30 days, and a 30-day license suspension.
Second Offense - (in five years) A fine of at least $315, but not more than $1,875, and/or imprisonment not to exceed one year, and a 90-day license suspension.
Third Offense - (in five years) A fine of at least $315, but not more than $1,875, and/or imprisonment not to exceed one year, and a 180-day license suspension.
Violations resulting in injury or death have increased fines and increased periods of suspension. Iowa Code § 321.482A.
Other offenses not affected by Kadyn’s law could be applicable in a case involving a violation of the law resulting in injury or death. The possible charges and penalties for those violations are listed below.
Serious Injury by Vehicle – A Class D felony – is punishable by up to five years imprisonment, a fine of at least $750 but not more than $7,500, surcharges and court costs and a one-year license suspension.
Homicide by Vehicle while Intoxicated – A Class B Felony – is punishable by a mandatory 25 years imprisonment, fines, surcharges and court costs and a six-year license suspension.
Homicide by Vehicle Reckless/Eluding – A Class C Felony – is punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment, a fine of at least $1,000 but not more than $10,000, surcharges and court costs and a one-year license suspension.;
Do you know when stopping is required?
Find out here: Additional Information on Kadyn's Law from the DOT.
Is the law working?
School bus drivers in the state have expressed increased frustration with the lack of enforcement of Kadyn’s law throughout the state. In a survey conducted by the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services in 2016, Iowa bus drivers were asked to keep track of violations for one day. The 1,200 drivers who responded recorded 165 bus stop violations.
Any one of those violations could have resulted in serious injury or death of a student.
We are asking districts to increase awareness of the law by sharing the rules with parents and the community. Consider sending information home with your students, and using social media to direct the community to additional information. Sometimes a simple reminder is all it takes.
If you’re curious about the bus driver survey, find it here: 2016 Survey Results
Kadyn’s Law Bulletin
Please send this bulletin home with your kids this year or post a link to it online!