Video shows bus driver apparently texting behind the wheel - New York News

Video shows bus driver apparently texting behind the wheel

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

Every day, students get on the school buses headed for Walker Middle and trust that they're going to be safe. However, what one student recorded on her cell phone has many parents in the area outraged.

"Unbelievable, that's very unsafe, definitely," said Brian James, a father of three, as he watched video of the bus driver.

In the video, driver Melody Lang appears to be using her cell phone while driving.

Hillsborough County Schools communications director Tanya Arja explained, "It is against our policy to use a cell phone in any way, whether that's texting, whether it's calling someone, whether it's emailing. You can't even use a blue tooth when you're driving a vehicle and that includes whether students are on the bus or if there are no students on the bus at the time."

In this case, there were students on board. One of them, who recorded the video, says the driver was texting.

"That's very disturbing knowing my kids ride a school bus, very disturbing," said John Karlen, "My kids take the school bus every day and I don't know if that's their driver but, I wouldn't want them on that school bus."

For now, the driver has been taken off the bus and put on desk duty, but some parents said, that's not enough.

"She should be fired, definitely, without pay, no suspension, nothing, just fired," James said.

The school district is still investigating the case and looking at their own video to determine what the next steps will be against that driver. Lang has been driving school buses for the district since 2007.

It is against the federal law for drivers with a commercial license to use their cell phones without a hands free device. That law does not apply to Hillsborough County school bus drivers. However, a state law against texting and driving for all drivers goes into effect this October.

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