Bus Driver Cell Phone Use Questioned

Susan McNew has been a Franklin County school bus driver for three years. She carries a cell phone with her, but she says she'd only use it in the event of an emergency, and never while driving.

“A lot of people don't respect the bus driver. You have to watch the traffic. You have to concentrate,” says McNew.

Representative Royce Adams filed the bill in the wake of the Grant County school bus crash earlier this year that injured a number of children, some seriously. The driver now faces drug charges.

“I don't think anything has been proven but there were rumors she was using a cell phone while driving the bus,’ says Adams, D-Dry Ridge. The accident happened in his district.

Police say they looked into allegations of text messaging, but their investigation primarily focused on the drug allegations which led to an indictment. Regardless, Adams says bus drivers have too much at stake to be chatting on a phone.

“They've got our children in their care while driving that bus,” says Adams.

According to the penalty provision of the bill, bus drivers caught talking on a phone would be slapped with a $50 fine the first offense and a $100 fine and loss of their driving endorsement for six months for a second offense.