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Neighbors say drivers blasting through school bus stop arm on busy MC street

A school bus turns off of North Pierce Avenue at the 300 block last week
A school bus turns off of North Pierce Avenue at the 300 block last week

MASON CITY – Police and city hall have been notified that drivers are not respecting stopped school buses on a busy Mason City street.

NIT is told the potentially dangerous situation was aggravated on Friday, September 30 and had been going on for some time. At a school bus stop at the 200 block of North Pierce Avenue, a white pickup truck approached a stopped school bus with an extended stop arm that day. The driver, said by witnesses to be traveling upwards of 30 miles per hour, proceeded to drive around the bus.

Alarmed by the behavior of the drivers, concerned parents contacted city hall and police to report the situation.

Construction on a gas line has made traversing North Pierce Avenue more challenging
Construction on a gas line has made traversing North Pierce Avenue more challenging

Mason City police told NIT that they “are aware of the concerns about the school bus (cars running stop arm) and road construction. There are also flashing school zone signs on N Pierce. We are working on a couple different responses to this concern.”

Police also said that a “rolling stop sign” that was put out on school days to slow down drivers “is not compliant with applicable new DOT traffic sign rules” and is no longer used.

Further complicating the matter is construction on North Pierce that has the roadway somewhat congested with workers and orange cones in the street.

Drivers are advised to slow down and watch for children walking and stopped school buses.

On May 10, 2011, Kadyn Halverson, age 7, of Northwood, was struck by a pickup while trying to cross the road to board a school bus.  In response to this tragedy, Iowa increased the criminal penalties for passing a stopped school bus and directed the Iowa DOT to enact rules that make illegally passing a stopped school bus a serious moving violation that triggers increasing periods of suspension for first, second and subsequent offenses.  In 2012, Governor Branstad signed into law Senate File 2218, the Keep Aware Driving – Youth Need School Safety Act (commonly known as Kadyn’s Law) which was passed unanimously in the Iowa House and Senate. The law is aimed at preventing other tragic deaths and serious injuries to Iowa’s school children while boarding or unloading from a school bus.   The new rule provides that a person’s Iowa driving privilege will be suspended 30 days for a first conviction, 90 days for a second conviction, and 180 days for a third or subsequent conviction.

 

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