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Kadyn’s Law

Published: Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013 11:31 a.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013 11:41 a.m. CDT
Caption
OST photo by AMY HANSEN Pictured is a school bus stop-arm.

With school starting, the public needs to be aware of the safety of children getting on and off of school buses.

In 2012, the Iowa legislature passed a bill for an act relating to school-bus safety, including providing penalties for failure to obey school bus warning lamps and stop-signal arms, providing for a school-bus safety study and administrative remedies and making an appropriation.

The bill, referred to as Iowa Senate File (SF) 2218 or “Kadyn’s Law,” became effective March 16, 2012.

Kadyn Jade Halverson

In May 2011, Worth County Sheriff’s Office charged Aaron Dwayne Gunderson, 31, of Northwood with the fatal hit-and-run of Kadyn Jade Halverson, 7, of rural Kensett. Gunderson stuck and killed Halverson as she walked to a stopped school bus in rural Worth County.

Gunderson failed to stop for the flashing lights and extended stop sign of the school bus. He struck Halverson while driving 60 miles per hour before continuing south, without stopping at the scene of the crash.

Halverson was thrown more than 60 feet into the west ditch of the road and died at the scene of the crash.

Gunderson has an optical impairment and tested positive for marijuana use in the hours after being charged. He pleaded guilty to a felony count of vehicular homicide involving reckless driving and a felony count of leaving the scene of a crash resulting in the death of Halverson.

Gunderson was sentenced to 15 years in prison and ordered to pay $150,000 in restitution.

The act of illegally passing a stopped school bus with red lights flashing is called a stop-arm violation.

The March 2012 passing of Kadyn’s Law has stiffened the penalties for stop-arm violations in Iowa. Prior to the enactment of Kadyn’s Law, the fine for stop-arm violations was $200.

Now it is:

First offense

Criminal citation: Unlawful passing of school bus first offense, a simple misdemeanor.

Fine: At least $250, but not more than $675.

Imprisonment: The court may order imprisonment not to exceed 30 days in lieu of or in addition to a fine.

Driving privilege suspension: The Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) will impose a 30-day suspension.

Second offense

Criminal citation: Unlawful passing of school bus, second or subsequent offense, a serious misdemeanor.

Fine: At least $315, but not more than $1,875.

Imprisonment: The court may also order imprisonment not to exceed one year.

Driving privilege suspension: The Iowa DOT will impose a 90-day suspension.

Third and subsequent offenses

Criminal citation: Unlawful passing of school bus, second or subsequent offense, a serious misdemeanor.

Fine: At least $315, but not more than $1,875.

Imprisonment: The court may also order imprisonment not to exceed one year.

Driving privilege suspension: The Iowa DOT will impose a 180-day suspension.

Any offense causing serious injury to another person

Criminal citation: Violations resulting in injury or death — additional penalties.

Fine: A fine of $500.

Imprisonment: N/A

Driving privilege suspension: The court may order the Iowa DOT to suspend the person’s driving privileges for a period of 90 days in lieu of or in addition to the fine.

Any offense causing death to another person

Criminal citation: Violations resulting in injury or death — additional penalties.

Fine: A fine of $1,000.

Imprisonment: N/A

Driving privilege suspension: The court may order the Iowa DOT to suspend the person’s driving privileges for a period of 180 days in lieu of or in addition to the fine.

Information was obtained from “School Bus Safety Study — Kadyn’s Law: Final report, December 2012.”

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