Diatribe: The Texting School Bus Driver.
My father began a successful career at a very young age and was able to enjoy a very early retirement. Too early, in fact, to actually act retired. To keep active and occupied he began a second career as a school bus driver. He grew to know all the children on his bus route, as well as their parents, and watched some of them grow from youngsters until graduation day.
While some might call him overly cautious, I think he’s always been an excellent driver. With very few mishaps in his long driving career, he was always a first choice as driver for special events, field trips, etc. Parents trusted him, on a daily basis, with the lives of their children and he always remembered that fact.
Nevertheless, he could tell some school bus stories! Some of the kids did some silly things that were, to say the least, quite distracting. Driving a bus filled with dozens of rambunctious children is, essentially, driving a bus filled with dozens of distractions. He would never intentionally add to the madness and endanger his charges or others on the road.
The same can’t be said for an unidentified Florida school bus driver who has been suspended after being caught on cell phone video texting while driving a school bus packed with middle school students. An eighth grade student who was shooting a video to try to gather evidence that the female driver curses at students instead recorded the bus driver driving with one hand on the wheel while looking down at her phone, which was in the other hand.
A Florida law to ban texting while driving goes into effect on October 1st but, oddly, bus drivers will be exempt. Texting while driving is, clearly, a dangerous distraction for any driver, but the potential danger is far greater when the driver is responsible for a bus filled with children. The number of traffic fatalities resulting from texting behind the wheel is growing at alarming rates to the point that it could soon be considered an epidemic. This bus driver should not have been suspended … she should have been fired.
If my child was on that bus, I wouldn’t sleep until I was certain that she never drove a school bus again.
What do you think? Should this bus driver have been fired instead of suspended?
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