Tennessee has passed a bill making texting or usage of electronic devices a Class A misdemeanor for school bus drivers. If it is revealed that a driver was texting while operating a school bus, they may face up to one year in jail.
The law comes after the 2014 tragedy in which school bus driver James Davenport swerved into oncoming traffic while texting. Davenport's bus was carrying 22 children from Chilhowee Intermediate School in Knoxville, Tennessee.
After going over the median, his bus crashed into Bus 57 carrying children from Sunnyview Primary School.
Two students from Sunnyview Primary School were killed along with a 46-year-old teacher's aide. It was later found that the bus driver for Sunnyview was driving 15 miles over the speed limit. Additionally, he did not have the proper license to drive a school bus.
This new law means that school bus drivers would be permanently banned from texting or face a minimum of $1,000 fine along with at least 30 days of jail time. Currently, the penalty for school bus drivers using electronic devices is only $50. Senator Becky Massey, the sponsor of the bill said, "No parent should send their child off to school and that child not return to school because of a bus driver's texting."
If you or a loved one have been the innocent victim of a bus accident caused by negligent behavior, the Knoxville bus accident attorneys at Greg Coleman Law will fight for your justice.
Negligent behaviors include distracted driving, driving under the influence, fatigued driving, not obeying traffic laws, inexperienced driving and more. Unfortunately, accidents caused by negligence can lead to catastrophic injuries or death.