Many people never consider the fact that a school bus driver may decide to text and drive. However, in the state of Tennessee, Gov. Bill Haslam recently signed into law a bill to crack down on any bus drivers who text while driving. Not only is the fine 20 times higher than before, but texting and driving with students on board could lead to jail time.
The passing of this bill is due in large part to an accident that occurred in 2014 when a bus driver was texting with 22 children on board. As a result of the accident, the bus moved across several lanes of traffic, eventually colliding with another bus. Several people died in the collision.
Before the law was passed, using an electronic device while operating a school bus with children on board meant a $50 fine. The new law changes all this, with the new fine set at $1,000. Furthermore, if convicted, the driver will face a 30-day jail sentence.
For many months, District Attorney General Charme P. Allen worked side by side with the bill sponsors to support its passage. It is this type of law that could go a long way in saving lives in the future. Bus drivers will now think twice before they text and drive, knowing that it could lead to jail time and a large fine.
If your child was injured in a school bus accident, you need to know your rights. It’s important to take action, as this can go a long way in helping to fight back against this potentially fatal behavior.
Source: Knoxville News Sentinel, “Gov. Haslam signs school bus driver texting bill into law,” Gerald Witt, accessed July 15, 2016