Texting and Driving – School Bus Drivers
Twice a day, sometimes after school, or for field trips, more than 230,000 men and women have control of our most precious possession – our children. These people have gone through a battery of tests, background checks, and must maintain a clean driving record in order to do this job.
The inattention of a school bus driver as they read or send a text imperils not only him/herself, but also the lives of every child on that bus, and the lives of drivers on the road. This has begun to happen with ever increasing regularity, as is evidenced by the three cases I culled from the pages of internet hits I received asking about school bus drivers who text and drive.
(In these instances, I only used cases where video/photo images were available to provide proof of the texting and driving)
Seminole County, Florida:
"This isn’t the first time (Robert) Stancheski was caught with a phone in his hands, he was suspended last April when after he appeared to be texting and driving in another video. That time, he got into a minor accident moments later." (KTLA5, Los Angeles, CA)
Raleigh, North Carolina:
A Highway Patrol spokesman said that the bus driver, 52 year old Sheila Wimbush Hall, crossed the center line and side-swiped an oncoming station wagon on Ligon Mill Road near the intersection of Louisburg Road. The bus brushed off of the station wagon and continued into the oncoming lane and struck a pickup truck driven by off-duty Raleigh fireman Harry "Flip" Kissinger. After the collision, the bus landed on top of the pickup truck, pinning the driver inside. The Highway Patrol says that charges are pending.
I discussed the dangers of distracted driving and texting while driving in one of my earlier posts. Checking emails and texting while driving have been the cause of a number of recent high profile bus crashes. Several bus drivers have been caught on videotape texting at the time of a collision. (North Carolina Attorney Injury Blog)
A Hamilton County school bus driver is on unpaid suspension after a parent complained of erratic driving to Channel 3.
The East Hamilton Middle School parent first said last week her child's bus driver was driving dangerously; everything from texting and driving, to speeding, and screeching halts. (WRCBTV3, Chattanooga, TN)
This quote is from a bus driver I know, Ales Campbell: "It's a simple rule and it's posted on the front wall of my school bus. "CELL PHONES ARE NOT TO BE USED BY THE DRIVER WHEN THE BUS IS IN MOTION." Why would this rule be any more important than the others that it alone comes posted in new buses now? It's simple. The cargo is more important than the risk. Distracted-driving is worse than drunk-driving. I've informed my family, friends, and the parents of students on my bus: if you need me during bus hours, call my supervisors and they will radio the information to me. If you text or call me, I will only check my phone once I'm stopped at a school, in between routes, or safely along the route. It best be an emergency and don't expect me to make an unscheduled stop to respond. My policy works because I enforce it. I occasionally get texts from parents who are running behind in the morning preparing their student for school or whose child won't be riding that day. Those usually come before my bus route even begins. I'm a bus driver when I'm behind that steering wheel. It's my job to transport students safely and in a timely manner to and from school and school-related functions. Period. My students' safety comes first. Period. There's no phone call or text worth risking the safety of a child or myself."
Trea Jones has always known the bitterness of bigotry and abject poverty. Her half-Cherokee daddy disappeared thirteen years ago on the pretense of getting milk. Mama has done nothing but mourn his loss, and she blames Trea for that. Now that she's starting her senior year of high school, Trea hopes for something better, but she doesn't hold out much hope.
She loosens up on some of her rules. Her guy, Dave, proves to her that she is worthy of everything the others have. The last day of classes prior to the winter break, she's ready to share some stupendous news with Dave, but tragedy intervenes when her daddy texts while driving a bus. Trea is left wondering if she can ever be free of a curse that heaps a lot of bad luck on her whenever good things happen to her.
KC Sprayberry started writing young, first as a diarist, and later through an interest in English and creative writing. Her first experience with publication came when she placed third in The Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge contest while in the Air Force, but her dedication to writing came after she had her youngest child, now in his senior year of high school.
Her family lives in Northwest Georgia where she spends her days creating stories about life in the south, and far beyond. More than a dozen of her short stories have appeared in several magazines. Five anthologies feature other short stories. She has three books that are Amazon best sellers: Softly Say Goodbye, Who Am I?, and Mama's Advice. Her other novels available are: Take Chances, The Ghost Catcher, Family Curse … Times Two, Secret From The Flames, Where U @, The Wrong One, and Grace. Her young adult historical fiction novel, Pony Dreams, releases later this month.
You can find K.C. Sprayberry on these social media sites:
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