NORTHWOOD, Iowa – Yellow school buses are a common sight as we get closer to the end of summer and the start of a new school year, and the vehicles should also spark a reminder about obeying Kadyn’s Law.
“I was at work when my mom called me, and told me that there had been an accident out at my friend Brooke’s sisters’ house. My stomach instantly dropped, and I just couldn’t imagine something like this happening,” said Amanda Maricle of Northwood.
Many of those living in the Northwood area will never forget what happened to Kadyn Halverson, just three years ago. The little girl was hit by a pickup on May 11, 2011 as she tried to board her school bus. The driver did not stop for the bus, which had the stop arm extended, and the warning lights on. Kadyn’s death raised awareness that legislation needed to be changed, and now Kadyn’s law is in place to protect other young people like her.
“Once the school year comes around, we just have to make sure we’re slowing down for those buses, because you don’t know if they’re dropping off or picking up, you just don’t know,” said Maricle.
Since 2012, 1,041 drivers have lost their drivers licenses for violating Kadyn’s law, according to Iowa Watchdog. One local transportation director says even students will help the bus drivers spot who may be rolling past the stop arm while it’s extended.
“If the driver yells, we’ve got kids who know enough to try to look and help out in any way they can. Maybe they can tell the color or type of vehicle,” said Daryl Love, Transportation Director for Northwood-Kensett Schools.
Bus drivers can call violators into police. Law enforcement officers are then in charge of handing out the fine, which can cost hundreds of dollars. You could also get your license suspended. Love says while getting in trouble may sting, losing a child like Kayden, can be much, much worse.
“Oh yes it, obviously it started with our district it was tragic, I never want to go through something like that again,” said Love.
Kadyn’s mother says she feels the law is working. She says she’s very proud of how well the bus drivers have been calling violators in to police. Right now she is working with Congressman Bruce Braley to pass this law on the federal level.