At the end of the last school year, I received letters and emails from students who were tasked with contacting a local legislator and advocating for an issue that is important to them. One was from Blake Peterson, a fifth grade student in Mrs. Twist’s class at Northeast Community School District, who was concerned about the lack of public awareness for Kadyn’s Law, a law that was created to keep students safe when loading and unloading a school bus.

The “Keep Aware Driving-Youth Need School Safety Act” — or Kadyn’s Law — was signed in March 2012. The law is named for 7-year-old Kadyn Halverson who was hit by a pickup truck in 2011 while trying to cross the road to get on a school bus. The driver of the pickup violated Iowa’s stop arm law — prohibiting drivers from passing a stopped school bus with the stop arms out or when the red or amber lights are flashing.

Kadyn’s law increased the criminal penalties and license sanctions for passing a stopped school bus and failing to stop for a school bus arm, including fines, imprisonment, and driver’s license suspension.

In FY 17, 556 persons had their licenses suspended for first time convictions for violation of this law.

In FY 18, 534 persons had their licenses suspended for first time convictions for this violation of this law.

Do you know when stopping for a school bus is required? Find out here: https://iowadot.gov/schoolbus/highway-safety/requiredstopping

Thank you to Blake and all of the students who contacted me and are making a positive difference in our communities!

I can always be contacted at chris.cournoyer@legis.iowa.gov and (563) 289-7335. Chris Cournoyer, R-LeClaire, represents District 49 in the Iowa Senate.