An investigation by New York State Police and school district officials leads to the bus driver being charged with endangering the welfare of a child.
After a bus driver is caught on video texting while driving students, Prince George’s County (Md.) Public Schools adds to its policy an amendment that would lead to a driver being suspended, demoted or terminated for the offense.
A killer. That’s essentially what texting can become when it coincides with driving. That point was tragically reinforced by a fatal school bus crash in Knoxville, Tennessee, according to the police investigation.
Investigators find that school bus driver James Davenport was distracted by texting during the time leading up to the Dec. 2 crash that killed three. Davenport died on June 1.
The YOLO (“you only live once”) Walk Safe campaign alerts high school students of the dangers of “distracted walking” caused by texting and other activities.
With the TextGuard app, a manager is alerted if a driver uses the phone when the vehicle's speed is above 9 mph. The SeatbeltGuard device, which is installed in the vehicle, also offers such features as real-time GPS tracking, speed monitoring, geo-fencing and reverse geo-fencing.
The effort is the Department of Transportation's first-ever national advertising campaign and law enforcement crackdown to combat distracted driving. Ads using the phrase “U Drive. U Text. U Pay.” will run from April 7 to 15, which coincides with a nationwide law enforcement crackdown in states with distracted driving bans.
The Greater Sudbury Police Service Traffic Management Unit cracked down on motorists who committed safety-related infractions in September, with the efforts focused in school zones. Among the offenses were 105 speeding violations, 15 hand-held device offenses for cell phone use and reports of illegal bus passing.
Rossana Lucas receives a 10-day suspension after she is seen on a video surveillance camera taking a call, and she also picks up another driver at an unauthorized stop. Lucas tells officials for the Florida district that she had taken the call from her son, a Marine stationed in Iraq, but the district’s investigation reveals that her story doesn't add up, and she admits that the caller was not her son.
New legislation aims to prohibit school bus drivers from using interactive wireless communication devices while the bus in motion. However, a rule to that effect was already approved by the Nebraska Department of Education last year.
The school bus contractor recently updated its cellular network and searched for an organization that would put the old phones to good use. Krapf decided on the 911 Cell Phone Bank, which provides law enforcement with free emergency cell phones for seniors and victims of abuse.
Over the years, the National Transportation Safety Board has become the gold standard for safety recommendations that should be taken to heart, and the agency’s vice chairman, Christopher Hart, is among its best keepers of the flame. There was much to be learned from his excellent presentation at the NAPT Summit in Memphis, Tenn., in October.
The message should be framed not as “this monitoring device is here to make sure you don’t break the rules” but as “this device is here to protect you as well as the students.”