The School Bus Danger Zones


Danger Zones


School Bus Facts


School buses are the safest mode of transportation for getting children back and forth to school.


Students are about 70 times more likely to arrive at school alive if they take the bus.


School buses have to meet more Federal safety standards than any other type of motor vehicle. Forty-eight out of sixty-two Federal safety standards apply to new school buses.


All school buses are required to have closely spaced seats with tall and energy-absorbing seat backs as a means of occupant crash protection. Such seats provide protection in the absence of seat belts by cushioning and containing the passengers within their seating positions, which is commonly known as “compartmentalization.”




Iowa Administrative Code 321.372

“Keep Aware Driving — Youth Need School Safety Act”


3. a. The driver of a vehicle, including the driver of a vehicle operating on a private road or driveway, when meeting a school bus with flashing amber warning lamps shall reduce the vehicle’s speed to not more than twenty miles per hour, and shall bring the vehicle to a complete stop when the school bus stops and the stop signal arm is extended. The vehicle shall remain stopped until the stop signal arm is retracted after which time the driver may proceed with due caution.


3. b. The driver of a vehicle, including the driver of a vehicle operating on a private road or driveway, overtaking a school bus shall not pass a school bus when red or amber warning signal lights are flashing. The driver shall bring the vehicle to a complete stop no closer than fifteen feet from the school bus when it is stopped and the stop arm is extended, and the vehicle shall remain stopped until the stop arm is retracted and the school bus resumes motion.


4. The driver of a vehicle upon a highway providing two or more lanes in each direction need not stop upon meeting a school bus which is traveling in the opposite direction even though the school bus is stopped.


5. a. The driver of a school bus who commits a violation of subsection 1 or 2 is guilty of a simple misdemeanor punishable as a scheduled violation under section 805.8A, subsection 10.


5. b. A person convicted of a violation of subsection 3 is subject to the following: (1) For a first offense under subsection 3, the person is guilty of a simple misdemeanor punishable by a fine of at least two hundred fifty dollars but not more than six hundred seventy-five dollars or by imprisonment for not more than thirty days, or by both. (2) For a second or subsequent offense under subsection 3, the person is guilty of a serious misdemeanor.


Offense

Criminal Citation

Fine

Imprisonment

Driving Privilege Suspension

First offense

Iowa Code 321.372(5)(b)(1)

Unlawful passing of school bus first offense, simple misdemeanor

Iowa Code 321.372(5)(b)(1) — At least $250, but not more than $675

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

The Iowa DOT will impose a 30-day suspension.

Second offense

Iowa Code 321.372(5)(b)(2)

Unlawful passing of school bus second or subsequent offense, serious misdemeanor

Iowa Code 903.1(b) — At least $315, but not more than $1,875

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

The Iowa DOT will impose a 90-day suspension.

Third and subsequent offenses

Iowa Code 321.372(5)(b)(2) 

Unlawful passing of school bus, second or subsequent offense, serious misdemeanor

Iowa Code 903.1(b) — At least $315, but not more than $1,875

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

The Iowa DOT will impose a 180-day suspension.

Any offense causing serious injury to another person*

Iowa Code 321.482A — Violations resulting in injury or death — additional penalties

Iowa Code 321.482A(1) — a fine of $500

N/A

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**

Iowa Code 321.482A — Violations resulting in injury or death — additional penalties

Iowa Code 321.482A(2) — a fine of $1,000

N/A

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.


*Although not affected by Kadyn's Law, it is important to remember that offenses that cause unintentional serious injury or death to another person and that are charged as operating while intoxicated (OWI), reckless driving, eluding or attempting to elude a law enforcement vehicle, or drag racing may be charged as homicide or serious injury by vehicle, which are class "B" (OWI causing death), "C" (reckless driving or eluding causing death) or "D" (OWI, reckless driving, or eluding causing serious injury; drag racing causing death) felonies. These felonies carry significant higher penalties and sanctions, including fines of up to $10,000, mandatory restitution of $150,000, mandatory imprisonment of 25 years, and mandatory suspension of driving privileges for six years for a class "B" felony conviction.


** The Iowa DOT also has authority under Iowa Code 321.210 and 761 Iowa Administrative Code to suspend the driving privilege of a person convicted for a moving violation that contributed to a fatal motor vehicle accident for at least 120 days. Typical suspensions under this authority are for a period of one year.