Kelly Schafler" />
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Tuesday, October 3, 2023


Dangers of texting and driving expand from personal vehicles to public transports

Driving can be difficult, especially in Houston. There’s traffic, crazy drivers, fender benders, road rage and people who think texting while driving is a good idea. Then there is always the driver texting while passengers are in the car, which makes it seem worse. Imagine if this person was a public transportation driver and the passengers were children.

This is the scenario that occurred in Florida when a school bus driver was caught texting and driving by a student’s cellphone. The 14-year-old girl who caught this video was initially attempting to capture the bus driver cursing, but she managed to catch the driver looking away from the road to look at her phone screen. During this time the driver managed to move slightly into the other lane. In the video, viewers can see the driver quickly grab the wheel with both hands after seeing her gradual shift to the other lane. The bus driver was put on temporary suspension after the video was shown to the public

Temporary suspension is nothing — nothing compared to what could have happened. This woman was in charge of transporting young children. Had she continued to focus on her cellphone screen for any longer, the possibility of an accident would have increased greatly.

Someone putting children in danger should not be taken lightly. Not only is this a danger to the individuals in the vehicle, it is a danger to other drivers and pedestrians on the road.

This is not the first time someone has used their cellphone while driving public transportation and received consequences.

In 2008, a San Antonio bus driver was texting while driving when he crashed into a line of stopped cars in traffic. Luckily, no one was killed, but the driver was immediately fired and sentenced to 30 days in jail along with a $200 fine.

I think this is a more appropriate reaction to the Florida bus driver. Yes, she did not get in a wreck, but at the very least, I believe she should be fired rather than just receive a slap on the wrist and a warning with suspension.

Hopefully, this incident will bring more awareness to the potential for accidents rather than just drawing attention to the wreck after it occurs.

Opinion columnist Kelly Schafler is a journalism junior and may be reached at [email protected]

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