Drunk School Bus Drivers Put Students at Risk
TN- Ctmirror.org writes that while statistically, school buses are the safest way for students to get to and from school, drunk or otherwise impaired drivers operate these vehicles more often than most people realize.*
Reporters spoke to teens who recalled the day in 2018 when they were picked up by a drunk bus driver on their way to school. One of the girls reported that she smelled alcohol on the driver when he picked her up, and then was terrified as the bus traveled erratically and out of control. Many of the students began to text and call their parents to report the incident. The driver was ultimately arrested and found to have a blood-alcohol level above the legal limit for any driver, and more than three times the limit for commercial drivers.
In the last five years, at least 118 school bus drivers were arrested for operating these vehicles while impaired. Other drivers failed random tests or refused to take them. Official information is difficult to come by as well because no official agencies seem to be tracking the information.
Driving a school bus is stressful and challenging. These drivers are tasked with focusing on driving massive vehicles while carrying rowdy children.
In addition to drunk drivers, there are cases of drivers impaired by opioids and other drugs. In some instances, the drivers were taking prescriptions that made them incapable of driving safely. In many situations, the drivers were only caught because students were able to notice that something was wrong. In rural areas, drivers sometimes leave directly from their homes, meaning that they do not even appear at a dispatch location. In these cases, no one sees the drivers before they start their route. It is frighteningly easy for impaired drivers to go unnoticed. For safety experts, the first step is to start tracking the size of the problem.
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