Legal Question in Traffic Law in Iowa

My 14 year old son was driving to school on a school permit when he encountered a school bus. He swears the lights were amber, the driver says he ran the arm. I asked for the video from the bus and was told later the video had not been working on the bus for some time. On the day of the incident, there happened to be a police officer in the parking lot due to an accident and the Superintendent asked him how to proceed at which time my son was issued a citation to appear in court.

Since this is based on hearsay, is the citation valid? Also, Iowa code 321.372A states the bus driver or the school official needed to report the incident in writing within 72 hours, also the public safety officer needed to investigate within 7 day and neither of these have been done. Due to that, would we have a case to have the citation dismissed or even my son to plead not guilty to the citation? Any assistance would be greatly appreciated!!!

Asked on 5/15/13, 9:50 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Robert Luedeman solo practitioner

The statement of a witness is not hearsay.

321.372 says that a driver MAY prepare a written report of a violation within 7 days on a form provided and the school superintendent MAY forward it to police in which case a peace officer shall investigate.

Making a report directly to police seems to eliminate the need for the steps outlined in 321.372A, but since that statute has never been interpreted by the courts it's worth making the argument.

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Answered on 5/15/13, 10:55 am

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