A student noticed that Vanessa Baillis seemed to forget where she was going, and a criminal complaint states that Baillis drove off the road and fell asleep behind the wheel. Blood work showed oxycodone and a powerful anti-anxiety drug in her system.
The National School Transportation Association believes that before commercial motor vehicle carriers are permitted to use an alternative to the current tests, there must be consensus that the alternate method is scientifically and technologically proven to be valid and reliable.
Stewart County Schools in Dover, Tennessee, terminated Bruce Siders’ employment after he said he refused the screening, required by school board policy following any bus accident. No one was injured and there was no indication Siders was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident, officials say.
Really listen to what your students are saying on your bus. Doing so might prevent an active shooter, a case of bullying, drug addiction or even your own death.
Federal officials say that the clearinghouse would make it easier to determine whether a truck or bus driver is prohibited from operating a commercial motor vehicle for failing to comply with drug and alcohol regulations. A spokesperson for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration says that all employers of CDL holders, including school bus drivers, would have to have programs to satisfy the proposed rule.
The driver was reportedly having difficulty navigating a barrier at a gas station after dropping off students at their school, and police administered a sobriety test prior to charging the driver with driving while intoxicated. Richard Gallagher, president of the New York association, says, “… we see in this instance that the actions of one school bus driver spoil our record of safety for the more than 2.3 million children who ride yellow school buses to and from school each day."
The new book gives details on the warning signs of drug abuse, paraphernalia usage and drug-related violence. Brooks, an instructor and consultant, says that "anyone that has children or works around children will find the information in the book to be very useful."
Addressing some states' recent initiatives to allow so-called "recreational" use of marijuana, the Department of Transportation clarifies that the initiatives will have no bearing on the agency's drug testing program for safety-sensitive transportation employees — including school bus drivers.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s drug and alcohol strike force also results in pending enforcement actions on more than 128 truck and bus companies for alleged violations, such as using a driver who has tested positive for illegal drugs or not instituting a testing program.
Under legislation that will take effect Jan. 1, school bus operations can test drivers for alcohol or drugs if the driver is suspected of using such substances. If a driver refuses to submit to a test or fails it, the law requires the driver's school bus permit to be suspended for three years.
A bus driver who injected heroin while operating a special-needs bus for a Pennsylvania school district in 2009 and subsequently crashed will serve up to 23 months in jail.
A survey conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration finds that in the past year, 13.2 percent of drivers 16 or older drove under the influence of alcohol, and 4.3 percent drove while under the influence of illicit drugs.
FMCSA strike force investigators examined the drug and alcohol safety records of commercial drivers employed by bus and truck companies, including school bus drivers. As a result, 109 drivers were removed from the roads and more than 175 carriers face enforcement actions.