A teenager was killed Wednesday morning in northern Iowa when his car slammed into the back of a stopped school bus. Seventeen year old Marty Davis was a senior at Belmond-Klemme High School. State officials are using the incident to remind motorists about school bus safety. Max Christensen, with the Iowa Department of Education, is in charge of school bus driver training.
"If you’re behind that school bus and the amber lights come on, it’s illegal to pass from the rear," Christiansen says, "some people think you can pass when those lights are on, but that is not correct." If a motorist is caught passing a bus illegally, they can expect a $100 fine, plus court costs.
Sergeant Genie Clemens, with the Iowa State Patrol, says the goal is to get kids to and from school as safe as possible. One innovation in the past decade is an "arm" that extends from the front of the bus, when it stops to drop off a student.
Clemens says the arm requires the student to go around the arm, allowing the bus driver to have a clear view of the child. In the past five years, including Wednesday’s incident, there have been 11 fatalities involving school buses in Iowa.