Driver refuses drug test after minor accident, loses job

Posted on December 9, 2014

DOVER, Tenn.  — Stewart County Schools bus driver Bruce Siders lost his job last week for refusing to take a drug and alcohol test after being involved in a minor fender bender here, The Leaf-Chronicle reports.

Stewart County Schools Transportation Supervisor Eric Watkins told the newspaper that no one was injured in the accident as Siders was taking students home from school. However, as Siders was being transported to WorkForce Essentials for the mandatory drug and alcohol screening dictated by school board policy following any bus accident, he called Watkins and said he could not take the test, according to The Leaf-Chronicle.

Although Watkins told the newspaper he could not discuss whether or not Siders provided a reason for his refusal of the test, he said that Siders had previously passed his pre-employment drug and alcohol test, as well as random tests given throughout employment. Additionally, Tennessee Highway Patrol Officer Caleb Cooper did not issue a citation to Siders, telling Watkins that the driver gave no indication that he was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time, according to the newspaper. After consultation, Leta Joiner, director of schools for Stewart County Schools, terminated Siders’ employment, the newspaper reports.

Watkins told The Leaf-Chronicle that federal regulations on school bus drivers do not require a drug and alcohol test after a non-fatal accident, but school board policy is permitted to be stricter than federal regulations. He added that the number of students on Siders’ route had decreased considerably, and the district is planning to shift those students to three other routes.

To read the full story, go here.

Related Topics: drug use/testing, Tennessee

Comments ( 2 )
  • Kriss

     | about 5 years ago

    What would an "acceptable reason" be in this instance? I don't believe there is one - he drives a school bus and knows that mandatory drug testing is done.

  • See all comments
More Stories
NAPT Conference and Trade Show scholarship deadlines are almost here. Shown here is Michael Martin, NAPT's executive director, speaking at the 2018 conference in Kansas City, Mo.

NAPT Scholarship Deadlines Approaching

The National Association for Pupil Transportation Conference and Trade Show deadline for two related scholarships is Sept. 18. The Sol Englander Innovation in School Transportation Safety Scholarship deadline is Oct. 11.

In Iowa, lap-shoulder belts will be required on all new school buses ordered as of Oct. 2. File photo courtesy Des Moines (Iowa) Public Schools

Iowa to Require Seat Belts on All New School Buses

Lap-shoulder belts will be required on all new school buses ordered as of Oct. 2. Safety equipment such as a second stop arm, hand rails, exterior boarding lights, and fire-resistant crash barriers are also required.

The Kansas State Department of Education’s “Stop on Red, Kids Ahead” campaign includes bumper stickers donated by Collins Bus Corp. Photo courtesy Collins Bus Corp.

Kansas Launches School Bus Safety Campaign

The state Department of Education’s “Stop on Red, Kids Ahead” includes social media reminders, posters, and safety flyers, as well as bumper stickers donated by Collins Bus Corp.

Be the First to Know

Get the latest news and most popular articles from SBF delivered straight to your inbox. Stay on top of the school bus industry and don't miss a thing!