Tama County
Sheriff

New School Year School Bus Safety Reminder

August 21, 2023

As we begin the new school year, the Sheriff’s Office wants to remind everyone about School Bus Safety and stop sign violations. Earlier this year, it seemed as if there was an influx of school bus stop sign violations. A contributing factor in these reported violations is the updated camera systems that were placed on the school buses, specifically in the South Tama County Community School District.

Prior to school bus cameras, the burden fell on the driver to obtain plate information on school bus stop sign violators, all while making sure the students exit the bus safely. As drivers will tell you, their main concern is for the safety of the student entering and exiting the school bus.

These cameras allow the bus driver to focus on student safety while holding violators accountable. Many variables go into a school bus stop sign violation, which is why our office reviews the reported violation prior to issuing a citation.  Drivers are trained to initiate the safety lights on the bus at the appropriate and minimum distance.

There are school districts that do not have camera’s on their buses specifically for school bus stop sign violations. Please reach out to your local school district to inquire about school bus stop sign cameras. If they do not have stop sign cameras, inquire as to what it would take to receive the funding and equip your buses with stop sign cameras.

Additionally, please call our office or your appropriate law enforcement agency if you are witnessing violations and/or school bus safety concerns!

Please be careful this school year and be mindful of school bus operations!

For more information on School Bus Safety, click here.

 

First Offense:

Criminal citation Iowa Code 321.372(5)(b)(1) — Unlawful passing of school bus first offense, simple misdemeanor

Fine At least $345, but not more than $930

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

Driving privilege suspension The Iowa DOT will impose a 30-day suspension. You may have an opportunity to complete our driver improvement program in lieu of having your license suspended.

 

Second Offense:

Criminal citation: Iowa Code 321.372(5)(b)(2) — Unlawful passing of school bus, second or subsequent offense, serious misdemeanor

Fine: Iowa Code 903.1(b) — At least $430, but not more than $2,560

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

Driving privilege suspension: The Iowa DOT will impose a 90-day suspension.

 

Third Offense:

Criminal citation: Iowa Code 321.372(5)(b)(2) — Unlawful passing of school bus, second or subsequent offense, serious misdemeanor

Fine: Iowa Code 903.1(b) — At least $430, but not more than $2,560

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

Driving privilege suspension: The Iowa DOT will impose a 180-day suspension.

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This webpage was printed on June 17, 2024. For the most current information, visit the Tama County, Iowa, Sheriff website at tamacountysheriff.org.
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