How does the new Florida texting ban relate to bus drivers?
Bus drivers are supposed to get people from point A to point B safely. This means they shouldn’t use their cellphones to text, email, or even browse through their messages or calendar entries from behind the wheel. Any type of cellphone distraction can cause a bus driver to get into a Sarasota bus crash.
Recently, a Sarasota school bus driver and a Tampa-area school bus driver were both caught texting and using their phones while driving. Unfortunately, some children were injured in the process. While their cellphone behaviors were not yet illegal in the state of Florida, that changed on October 1, 2013, when the texting ban in Florida went into effect.
Now, all drivers—including bus drivers—are banned from sending text messages while behind the wheel of their vehicles. However, there is a loophole in the law. Florida’s texting ban is written so that it is illegal to send a text while a vehicle is in motion, which allows drivers to be able to read, write, and send text messages when their vehicles are stopped at traffic lights.
Because bus drivers may still be allowed to use their phones when the vehicle is stopped in traffic, many people are concerned about bus drivers’ use of cellphones from behind the wheel. However, some school districts already have their own policies in place that ban their drivers from using cellphones while driving a bus. For example, the Tampa-area district forbids bus drivers to use their cellphones at any time while behind the wheel. And recently, the district removed a school bus driver from her route after a child on the bus caught the bus driver texting while driving.
Sadly, there will still be those who ignore the laws and continue to text and drive. If you or your child was injured in a Florida bus crash due to driver negligence, you have legal rights. Contact the Mallard Law Firm today at 888-409-3805 to speak with a skilled Sarasota accident attorney in a free initial consultation.