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October 05, 2009  |   Comments (9)   |   Post a comment

Feds aim to crack down on texting bus drivers


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In the U.S. DOT’s summit on distracted driving, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said a forthcoming rulemaking will seek to disqualify school bus drivers convicted of texting while driving from maintaining their commercial driver’s licenses.

In the U.S. DOT’s summit on distracted driving, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said a forthcoming rulemaking will seek to disqualify school bus drivers convicted of texting while driving from maintaining their commercial driver’s licenses.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A forthcoming federal rulemaking will seek to disqualify school bus drivers convicted of texting while driving from maintaining their commercial driver’s licenses.

 

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced the action in a two-day summit devoted to the topic of distracted driving in all modes of transportation.

The Department of Transportation (DOT) will also create a rulemaking that will consider banning text messaging and restricting the use of cell phones by truck and interstate bus operators.

Another rulemaking would consider making permanent restrictions on the use of cell phones and other electronic devices in rail operations.

LaHood called on state and local governments to work with the DOT to reduce fatalities and crashes by making distracted driving part of their state highway plans, and by continuing to pass state and local laws against distracted driving in all types of vehicles, especially school buses.

But the federal government also moved to set an example by its own actions. President Obama signed an executive order directing federal employees not to engage in text messaging when driving government-owned vehicles; when using electronic equipment supplied by the government while driving; or when driving privately owned vehicles when they’re on official government business.

The order also encourages federal contractors and others doing business with the government to adopt and enforce their own policies banning texting while driving on the job.

“This order sends a very clear signal to the American public that distracted driving is dangerous and unacceptable,” LaHood said. “I fully expect that all 58,000 DOT employees and contractors will take this order seriously.”

The summit brought together safety experts, researchers, industry representatives, elected officials and members of the public who shared their expertise, experiences and ideas for reducing distracted driving.

Speakers from around the nation led interactive sessions on a number of key topics, including the extent and impact of distracted driving, current research, regulations and best practices. People from 49 states participated in the summit via the Web.

The summit also featured a discussion with Seventeen magazine Editor-in-Chief Ann Shoket and young adults that explored the dangers of texting and driving.

High school classrooms across the country tuned into the youth-geared program and heard insights from Reggie Shaw, 22, and Nicole Meredith, 18, both of whom caused car crashes because they were texting while behind the wheel.


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If its SOOOO dangerous why are Police STILL doing it? I see Police Officers all the time talking AND texting on the cell phone.

Steven Manson    |    Sep 07, 2010 08:20 AM

The only real way to monitor cell phone use is with a monitoring technology. My buddy has his entire fleet equipped with this product from Keytroller. Its this video camera that actually has 2 cameras (to view the driver and the front exterior), plus it has GPS. Its literally forced these drivers to be accountable, plus it saves my friend from dealing with false accusations (in the case of an accident since there is video footage to prove everything). The product is called the SMARTER, seems smart to me, haha.

Aaron    |    Jun 09, 2010 05:59 AM

Bill What is a Geneis bus?

Rosemary Gorczynski    |    Apr 12, 2010 07:32 AM

The company I work for has apolicy in check for all employees about cell phones and head phones. Our employees are not allowed to have cell phones or head phones while driving the school bus our bus assistants are noteven allowed to have neither celll phones or head phones while on the bus and we have everyone read & sign a fporm this way if they are caught they cannot say they did not know it is company policy.I as a supervisor will not tolerate any cell phones ar head phones by anyone of my employees.

Rosemary Gorczynski    |    Apr 12, 2010 07:25 AM

I am hoping someone can answer my question. On a geneis bus there is a switch that has MOM on it. What does mom mean?

Bill Campbell    |    Apr 04, 2010 08:01 AM

School bus drivers have an awesome responsibility multiplied by as many children on that bus and the driving public. As a driver/trainer I can't tell you how sickened I am that we even have to make it against the law. I also see how the cell phone (whether calls or texting) affects others while driving and it should be against the law for everyone.

Connie Kent    |    Feb 23, 2010 07:20 AM

Being on the phone or texting is a sin while driving a achool bus a driver can't be 100% devoted to the safety of the precious cargo and I feel should loose there jobs !! No ifs ands or butts!! I also feel comany phone should be used for ONLY company calls and work related only!!

'elly Rice    |    Jan 27, 2010 11:10 PM

Mike you are exactly right. That is our school district policy and should be everywhere. Texting while driving at least, and maybe talking on phone while driving also, should be moving violations with points put on a drivers license.

Bob    |    Jan 05, 2010 11:19 AM

government employees should be fired, caught texting or talking on the phone while driving they should lose there job.

mike    |    Jan 01, 2010 06:40 PM

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