School Bus Law Not Effective Yet - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

School Bus Law Not Effective Yet

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There are tougher penalties in Iowa when it comes to stopping for school buses since Kadyn's law went into effect last August. QCA drivers can get their licenses taken away if they are caught passing a stopped school bus illegally. 

The first offense is 30 days, and the length increases for each offense. 

Kadyn's Law is named after a young Iowa girl who was hit and killed by a pickup truck last year while walking to her bus. 

But bus drivers say the law isn't working as well as it should. We're about halfway through the school year and already 53 drivers in Davenport have been reported running stop signs that come out when a school bus is stopped. Last year, it was lower at 42. 

Those stop signs tell drivers to stop for kids getting off the bus and crossing the street, and drivers say they're actually seeing a rise in cars not stopping after 'Kadyn's Law' went into effect.  

Bus drivers say just a little patience can turn these numbers around and keep kids safe.  

When Kadyn's Law first went into effect last year, bus drivers say they did see an improvement in drivers.  

"Initially it did start to help, it was fresh in people's minds and that awareness was raised," Durham Bus Services General Manager Curtis Wheeler says. 

Since then, things have changed. 

"As that topic began to not be such a hot topic, we saw an increase [in cars not stopping]," Wheeler says. 

Drivers say they haven't had any serious accidents despite the higher number of cars blowing pass school busses, but they have had some close calls.  

"Unfortunately it's going to take a tragedy to happen for it to get back into people's minds and for it to stick for any length of time," Wheeler says, "I don't think any of us want to see that happen." 

Bus managers say that's why they train bus drivers to report any cars they see not following the law. 

"Our drivers are trained to immediately look for a license plate number, make, model, vehicle description, color, and a driver description if possible," Wheeler says. 

They fill out reports and turn those into police to investigate. Most of the time, the driver breaking the law ends up with a ticket.

"It comes down to when a bus is out and the lights and stop arm are you, you have to stop," Wheeler says. 

Drivers convicted of this violation can get their license suspended, and face fines and even jail time. But bus drivers say, you can avoid all this by just paying attention and being patient. 

"Just slow down, especially when the flashing lights and bells and whistles are going off and you see kids loading and unloading," Wheeler says. 

So what are the rules for passing school busses? If you're on a two lane road, everyone must stop no matter what lane you're in. The same goes for three-lane highways and roads.  

But if you're on a four-lane road, not everyone has to stop, just the cars on the bus's side. Oncoming traffic on the other side does not have to stop.