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School Bus Driver's Cited for Misbehavior and Suspended

The Department of Education has suspended more than 1,300 New York City yellow-bus drivers as well as 500 matrons. Why? According to the department, the suspensions were for misbehavior that had taken place over the course of the past five years. Looking back to 2008, only 119 drivers were reported as suspended for breaking safety rules. 2012 statistics indicate that the number has just about tripled since then, now sitting at 346.

While all of the bus drivers and matrons were suspended for varying reasons, the most egregious offenses include putting students directly in harm's way, according to the Department of Education. 52 drivers and 25 matrons were suspended on these allegations.

The instances of drivers performing egregious acts include:

  • An Amboy Bus Company driver left a loaded pistol on a bus. The next driver of the bus was transporting 21 children. The man who left the gun on the bus was arrested and his bus driver certification was taken away after a thorough investigation from the Department of Education, transportation division.
  • A driver with Hoyt Transportation nearly failed to yield to flashing red signals at a railroad crossing. For a period of time, the bus was stuck on the tracks. He had a teacher and some students on board.
  • A Rainbow Transit driver was caught sending text messages while he was driving. It gets worse. He was sending text messages to a special education who was traveling on his bus at the time.

The Department of Education investigated the texting driver to find he was actually texting with one of the special-education students on his bus at the time of the texting.

Current Laws Governing Texting While Driving in New York State

If found guilty of texting while driving, the guilty driver must pay a $150 fine and incurs two points on their license. Drivers are required to use hands-free devices if they wish to talk on a cell phone while driving; texting, emailing and similar cellular activities are banned while driving; NYC taxi drivers cannot use cell phones at all while driving.

Current Legislations Making Their Way Through NY Legislature

Assembly Bill 3022: If signed into law, this would forbid all use of cell phones while driving. One exception would be using a cell phone to make an emergency call. This includes a ban on hands-free cell use. Fine: $100 maximum.

A2668: If signed into law, this would ban the use of videos that some vehicles come equipped with on the front seat area of a vehicle. If it is in the view of the driver, it would be banned. This would not include navigational systems like GPS.

A2884: This would prohibit the act of dialing. Current cell phone laws use the verbiage "using" a cell phone, but this would include specifically "dialing" a phone.

A1961: If passed, this would require police to include additional information on accident reports. This newly-required information would be whether or not a cell phone was in use at the time of the incident.

A2570: This law, should it be passed, would impose penalties against drivers who kill or injure another person in an accident because of cell phone use. Penalties could include prison time and two points against driver's license.

S3718: Currently, the law does not specify whether or not the cell phone texting and talking laws apply while a vehicle is stopped at a red light, railroad crossing, etc. This would seek to remedy that.

If you or a loved one are injured by a motorist using a cell phone, talking or texting, there are strict laws that prohibit this type of conduct while driving. Call The Law Firm of Steven I. Fried to discuss your legal rights.

Categories: Bus Accident


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The Law Firm of Steven I. Fried, P.C. - Bronx Personal Injury Attorney
Located at 5600A Broadway, Bronx, NY 10463.
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