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February 28, 2013  |   Comments (6)   |   Post a comment

Nebraska bill targets bus driver cell phone use

By Thomas McMahon


LINCOLN, Neb. — New state legislation aims to prohibit school bus operators from using cell phones while driving, although a similar rule has already been put in place.

The new bill, introduced by Nebraska Sen. Kate Sullivan, would ban school bus drivers from using any type of interactive wireless communication device while the bus is in motion. It would not, however, apply to dispatch communication devices, such as two-way radios.

The legislation echoes a change that the Nebraska Department of Education made to its pupil transportation regulations last year. That change (included here) prohibits school bus drivers from using hand-held wireless communication devices, except for two-way devices, while operating the bus.

Even with that Department of Education regulation already in place, Sen. Sullivan said that lawmakers should still put a school bus driver cell phone ban in statute to be clear, according to The Associated Press.

Sullivan’s bill was referred to the Nebraska Legislature's transportation and telecommunications committee in January. It underwent a committee hearing on Tuesday.

Other articles related to cell phone use:

Texting cited in teen’s fatal crash into bus

Distracted driving: Can u c me now?

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Read more about: cell phones, distracted driving, Nebraska, two-way radios

What is needed is a law about what and when a driver can be emailed, texted etc. by the company. In the photo the driver is not focused on receiving the child in the stairwell or monitoring traffic.

Paperboy    |    Mar 01, 2013 06:15 AM

I think they are to make more laws about these kids being better on the bus than to worry about the drivers we already have to go through a bunch of crap just to get our license so that we can board a buseryday to get disrespected!!

Scott Daugherty    |    Mar 01, 2013 04:49 AM

Our school district already prohibits the use of cell phones while the driver is driving a bus. The driver is allowed to stop the bus, at a safe location, to make an emergency call. We currently use two-way communications to relay information to our drivers during routes and trips.

Darren Ashely    |    Mar 01, 2013 04:32 AM

Safety is the first concern while driving; (after 25+ years of driving) we've been getting text calls from parents to say "You don't have to stop today." ... It may be time to finally retire?

Chuck Bartlett    |    Feb 28, 2013 07:18 PM

Excuse me! What's next a bill to demand that school bus driver stop at RR crossings, stop signs, red lights. Maybe a new bill to demand they be sober before going out on route! It just amazes me that the lawmakers even have to make it a law. School bus drivers are held to the highest standards of professionalism, the expectation of perfection is at 100%, there's already is NO ROOM for failure.

The Bus Guy    |    Feb 28, 2013 04:41 PM

Nice, Nebraska considers school bus drivers are targets.

Mike McLean    |    Feb 28, 2013 03:48 PM

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