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September 12, 2023

Attorney General Bird Announces Back to School Reminders

DES MOINES- As students head back to school, Attorney General Bird reminds Iowans to follow school safety laws. 

“School safety is every Iowan’s responsibility,” said Attorney General Bird. “As a mom, I know that there is nothing more important than keeping our kids safe. And when we drop our children off at school, we trust that they will be protected. We all have a part to play in that by ensuring we follow the law, drive carefully around school grounds, and look after our communities.” 

Never Pass a Stopped School Bus 

It is illegal to pass a stopped school bus on the road. Violations may result in a fine and suspension of the driver’s license. When approaching a parked school bus, drivers must stop at least 15 feet away and wait until the red lights stop flashing and the bus’s stop arm is withdrawn before proceeding. When a school bus's yellow lights start flashing, it means the bus is preparing to stop to load or unload children and drivers must slow down to no more than 20 mph. Drivers behind the bus must then come to a complete stop.  

Follow Guidelines of School Permits 

Students who hold a school driver's permit should follow the permit guidelines, such as travel restrictions for driving to and from school or school activities from a student’s home. School activities must be in the school district the student is enrolled in. Students can drive during any time of day with an adult present but can only drive between the hours of 5AM to 10PM without adult supervision. Students are to take the most direct route to and from school but may stop to refuel their vehicle at the nearest gas station on the route. 

Watch for Reduced Speed Limits on and Around School Grounds 

Speeding is a major cause of school-related crashes. The posted speed limit on school grounds is typically 15 mph and is also reduced on nearby roads during school hours. 

Be Aware of Surroundings 

When students walk or bike to school, they should be aware of traffic and other hazards. Students and parents should look both ways before crossing the street and use designated crosswalks whenever possible. Do not enter the street between parked cars. 

Wear Bright Clothing when Walking or Biking in the Dark 

Wearing bright clothing while walking or biking increases visibility to drivers. Consider wearing a reflective vest or other reflective clothing. 

Tell Authorities if You See Something Suspicious 

All suspicious activity involving a child should be reported immediately to school and local authorities. This includes if a stranger approaches a child at school or school activities, and if suspicious packages or vehicles are identified.


For More Information:

Alyssa Brouillet | Press Secretary


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