A Florida student planned to secretly film her bus driver, trying to catch her swearing, according to WFTV-TV. What she filmed instead has led the bus driver to be suspended from driving, pending an investigation.
In the video shot by Venus Cotto-Silva’s 14-year-old daughter, a Hillsborough County bus driver appears to text behind the wheel.
“When she showed me the video, I just couldn’t believe it,” Cotto-Silva told the local news station.
“I’m scared for the kids, all of them, not just my niece, all of them, everyone on that bus,” said the unnamed student’s uncle, Noah Cotto, included.
According to ABC’s Good Morning America, the unnamed bus driver has been suspended with the school district’s statement saying it was a case of distracted driving.
“Clearly the driver is looking at her cellphone. That’s a dangerous distraction for any driver, but the potential danger is greater when you have a bus full of children,” the statement said.
District Spokesman Steve Hegarty told WPTV-TV the video was “troubling.” The school district’s policy bans bus drivers from using a cellphone for any purpose while behind the wheel.
The unclear footage shows a cellphone in the bus driver’s hand. Toward the end of the video, she seems to abruptly grab the wheel, which has the Cotto-Silva family thinking she might have been drifting into another lane.
Watch the cellphone video by the student in this report from WPTV:
It is currently not illegal in the state for drivers to text behind the wheel — that will change Oct. 1 when a law banning it comes into effect. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, 41 states restrict texting while driving for all drivers, three states specifically ban texting by school bus drivers.