DOT bus graphic.

Schools are getting back into session and drivers are going to have to be prepared to stop when buses are picking up kids or face fines and a license suspension.

The fines were increased in 2012 for passing a school bus with its stop sign extended. Sioux City Police Sergeant Jim Clark says most buses in his area have cameras to catch violators. “The first offense the fine is between 250 and 675 dollars and an automatic 30-day suspension of your license,” Clark says.

The fine increases if you are caught a second time. “The fine goes up between 315 and 1,875 dollars and a 90 day suspension,” he says. The change in fines came after seven-year-old Kadyn Halverson of Kensett was hit and killed by a car as she tried to cross the road to get on a school bus. Her family and friends pushed to get “Kadyn’s Law” passed following her death.

Sergeant Clark says drivers still aren’t paying attention as 55 people were cited for school bus violations in Sioux City.

The Iowa Department of Transportation has information showing when you should stop for a school bus on its website.

(By Woody Gottburg, KSCJ, Sioux City)