Most drivers are very careful around yellow school buses which are stopped and lights are flashing.

But, a new deadly trend is growing in Iowa and the nation.

People in a hurry or distracted by electronics are running the stop arms extended from buses as they drop off or pick up students.

Clarke transports up to 1,000 kids on buses and small vehicles every day.

That is a lot of chances for an accident and a fatality of one of our students. After a tragic death last year, the Iowa Legislature changed the penalties for running stop arms. This is referred to as Kayden’s Law.

First offense is a monetary fine of at least $250 and up to $675.

But, wait, it gets better.

A violator may be placed in jail for up to 30 days in addition to the fine.

Now comes the biggest surprise to violators. The Iowa DOT will impose a 30-day suspension for the first violation. That does not say may impose, it says it will be imposed on the first time offender.

Second-offense fines grow to between $318 and $1,875, plus jail time of not more than one year.

The DOT will impose a 90 day suspension of the driver license.

Third-offense fines and imprisonment are the same, but the DOT will impose a 180-day suspension of the driver license.

Please keep our 1,000 kids safe when coming and going on our 16 big, yellow school-bus routes.

It will cost you plenty even if you do not strike a child. You can look up the law in Iowa Code 321.372 (5) (b) (91) and 903.1 (b)

Clarke Superintendent Ned Cox