You may have seen the CBS News report; “CBS News investigation finds stunning lack of oversight of school bus drivers.” They concluded that every day in this country, 60 school bus drivers get into accidents and that there is a “stunning lack of oversight of school bus drivers.”
The Report on Bus Drivers
This shocking report showed bus drivers who were arrested for assault and molestation, as well as driving under the influence, and other crimes. While school bus drivers must have a commercial driving license, they do not drive across state lines. This exempts them from some of the federal guidelines required for, say, Greyhound bus drivers.
Only Connecticut and Delaware track driver arrests for school bus drivers while on the job. CBS News reported that 21 states said there were no DUI arrests for school bus drivers in the past three years. They found at least one arrest in each of those states.
The dilemma for cash-strapped schools is that they do not have the resources required to fully vet and then follow through on these employees. They also don’t have enough bus drivers to go around. It’s created a perfect storm where potential criminals can pick up easy cash by driving your kids to school. Some of the latest incidents were highlighted in a recent Californian article:
– A Chattanooga, Tennessee bus driver slammed into a tree, killing six elementary students. There were numerous reports leading up the crash of excessive speeding, swerving, and cursing at students.
– In Knoxville, a bus driver was texting, swerved into oncoming traffic, and hit another school bus. Two students died.
The article points out that the buses are owned by the school district, and thus fall under state purview. Yet in many locales, the state safety administration uses an arbitrary rating system that is not made available to the public.
Because these claims are so shocking, we did a simple search Internet search to determine the reality of this problem. Here’s what we found thus far in 2017:
– A local paper in Rhode Island reported on a bus driver that failed two breathalyzer tests which showed her blood alcohol limit to be three times the legal limit.
– In March this year, a US News & World Report article told about a Wyoming school bus driver arrested for sexually assaulting two teenagers.
The Baltimore Sun raised the red flag again just a few weeks ago, calling for an audit of the system used to hire bus drivers. The National Safety Transportation Board recommended this last year after the November accident where a school bus driver rear ended a car and then struck an MTA bus. To date, that audit has not occurred.
Accident Injury Lawyers
At Ingerman & Horwitz LLP we understand your rights. That’s why we proudly help our clients seek justice when they’ve been injured in a negligent accident. In addition to car accidents, we handle workers’ compensation, medical malpractice, and product liability cases frequently. We believe that victims have rights, too, and we help you use the law to seek justice.
If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident, contact the experienced team at I&H today. We’re here to help.