Texting and driving is a danger that has become so commonly discussed and avoided that it's now surprising that anyone would engage in the risky practice. Driving needs our full attention. Without the proper focus, car accidents are bound to happen. History has proven this. A distracted driver is equated to the danger of a drunk driver.
Louisiana as well as other states have distracted driving laws in place to prevent drivers from neglecting to pay proper attention to driving. Those laws are for everyone to follow, including school bus drivers. That is for sure. We emphasize that point because a student caught his school bus driver texting while behind the wheel of the bus.
Validly, parents of a group of students from a St. Mary Parish school are upset that their kids were riding in a bus being driven by a texting driver last month. A student actually took a photo of the driver in action, proving that the driver was putting himself, the students and others on the road at risk with his distracted driving.
The driver has been charged with the crime, though his charge is equal to that of a person who is caught texting and driving behind the wheel of their own car. Some safety advocates suggest that texting behind the wheel of a bus full of children is a more extreme offense and should, therefore, have its own more severe criminal classification.
Accidents happen. They happen even when someone isn't on his phone while driving. There is no need to increase the likelihood of getting hurt and hurting others in a crash by giving into the addiction of cell phone use. Distracted driving laws are relatively new in Louisiana and the whole country in general. In time, hopefully more drivers will fall in line with the legal changes and keep their phones put away while driving.
Source: KATC, "Student Captures Bus Driver Allegedly Texting While Driving School Bus," Maddie Garrett, Sept. 20, 2012