School Officials Concerned About Motorists Passing Stopped School Buses

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(Le Mars) — Driving past a stopped school bus with its stop sign extended and flashing lights on, is against the law, and it continues to be a problem for the Le Mars Community School District. School superintendent Dr. Steve Webner informed the school board during its meeting held Monday evening the number of violations this year is on pace with last year.

Iowa legislators recently increased the fines and penalties as a result of Kayden’s Law when a youngster was killed due to a motorist passing a stopped school bus at Northwood, Iowa. Webner was asked if there have been any convictions because of the violators, and he responded by saying “there have been a few.” He reminded the school board of the penalties for passing a stopped school bus.

Webner says part of the problem is not all the buses are equipped with a camera to capture the image of the violator. He says it then depends on the word of the school bus driver to get the license plate number and make and model of the vehicle, or if there were other witnesses. Webner calls the problem the worst safety concern for the school.

The Le Mars Community school superintendent says the problem occurs more in town than in the rural areas. School officials have notified local police about the safety concerns. Webner says the school intends to start a campaign drawing attention of the problem beginning with a letter to parents in the monthly newsletter.