A Tampa, Florida bus driver has been suspended for texting and driving with a bus full of middle-schoolers. An 8th grade girl from Hillsborough County School, and the daughter of Venus Cotto-Silva, was trying to catch the driver yelling and swearing to show her mother on September 13th, when she caught something unexpected, reports ABC.
In the video, the driver can be seen with one hand on the wheel while looking at her phone, which is in her other hand. At one point, the driver looks up from her phone, then suddenly grabs the wheel with both hands to avoid traffic, as she seems to be steering into the wrong lane. She then proceeds to look back down at her phone!
“When she showed me the video, I just couldn’t believe it,” Cotto-Silva said. “The scary part is, see how quickly she grabbed the wheel?”
In a statement, the school district said texting while driving is against policy for its bus drivers and that the driver in question had been suspended. “Clearly the driver is looking at her cellphone. That’s a dangerous distraction for any driver, but the potential danger is greater when you have a bus full of children,” the statement said.
According to the Christian Post, angry Florida parents have since come out against the driver for putting their children’s lives at risk with her careless driving.
Florida does not currently have any laws banning texting while driving, so the school bus driver was not technically breaking any laws, she only broke school policy. Florida does have a texting while driving ban in process, but the legislation does not come into effect until October 1, 2013.
However, that ban will not include bus drivers, ironically. Private bus companies and school administrators have been told that they should regulate their own private rules for their drivers.
In 2011, more than 3,000 people were reportedly killed in accidents involving a distracted driver.
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