Some Iowa schools are dismissing early today because of the heat and local law enforcement is reminding motorists to be on the lookout for school buses. Mark Domino, of the Iowa State Patrol’s Mason City office, says drivers need to pay close attention today and tomorrow since buses will be running at atypical times.

He says schools are getting out early and that means there will be school buses on highways, county roads, and streets when they normally aren’t out there. Domino says a fatal accident about a year ago near Rockford happened because a school bus was dropping off kids earlier than normal, and the driver rear-ended the bus.

Domino says kids at the start of the school year might not be paying close attention to their surroundings when boarding or leaving a school bus. He says the cargo on the bus is the children, and even with doing bus safety drills, they forget, so drivers around the bus have to be paying closer attention as well.

Domino stresses that the newly-enacted “Kadyn’s Law” will hopefully raise the awareness of drivers to be on the lookout for stopped school buses at any time of day. Under the law, a person’s driver’s license could be suspended for 30 days on the first conviction of passing a stopped school bus, 90 days for a second conviction, and 180 days for a third or subsequent conviction.

The law also allows for jail time of up to 30 days for the first offense and one year for repeat violators.

By Bob Fisher, KRIB, Mason City