Drivers who illegally pass a stopped school bus could face stricter penalties after the state Transportation Commission passed an emergency rule effective Wednesday, August 15.
Nationally, there is a rise in the number of motorists who reportedly illegally pass school buses stopped to pick up or drop of students. More than 43 percent of vehicles illegally passed a stopped school bus in the first half of 2012 compared to 38 percent in 2011.
Kadyn’s Law passed earlier in 2012, increasing criminal penalties for passing a stopped school bus in Iowa. The law was named for seven-year-old Kadyn Halverson of Northwood, Iowa who was struck by a pickup while trying to cross the road to board a school bus May 10, 2011.
When he signed the bill into law, Iowa Governor Terry Branstad directed the Iowa Department of Transportation to adopt rules making illegally passing a stopped school bus a serious moving violation. The offense is considered a misdemeanor.
The new rule means being convicted a first time for illegally passing a stopped school bus is punishable by a 30-day suspension of driving privileges. The offense also carries fines between $250 and $675 and up to 30 days in jail.
The penalty for a second conviction is a 90-day suspension, fines between $315 and $1,875 and up to one year in prison. A third or subsequent conviction carries the same potential fines and potential prison sentence plus a 180-day suspension of driving privileges.
Illinois has new laws restricting cell phone use, not just texting, in school zones. Read that story – click here.