Bill May Make Using Cell Phone Illegal For School Bus Drivers

OMAHA (kptm) - Some lawmakers want to make it illegal for bus drivers to be on their phone behind the wheel.

Parents at Norris middle school have mixed feelings about the bill. "Well I don't think it's a bad idea, they need to not pay attention to their cell phone and due their job," father John Harter says.

A bill by Senator Kate Sullivan could make it illegal for school bus drivers to chat on their cell phones whenever the vehicle is in motion. Some parents say it's a good idea, "they got to do their job and the kids are more important than their cell phone," Harter says.

"It's very dangerous, I mean if we can't do it driving around with just ourselves they shouldn't with 60 kids on the bus you know, it should be illegal all the way thru everybody, not just a bus or a car," mother Janie Jones says.

But other parents say they think bus drivers should have cell phones, "cause you never know anything can happen on school buses," mother Lisa Gonzalez says.

But Senator Sullivan's bill would still allow bus drivers to use their dispatch radios, "I mean they had them back when I was young so we didn't have cell phones so I think the radio is just fine," Jones says.

Others say cell phones aren't the problem, "If you're worried about something a school bus driver's doing, I'd worry more like is he drunk or does he care whether he's doing his job right getting the kids home or picking them up and getting them to school on time," grandmother Linda Poyner says.

And whether or not parents agree with the bill, they say school bus drivers should have just one main concern. "They should have one priority and it should be the kids," Jones says.

Senator Sullivan's bill would apply only to school buses that contract with school districts or directly with parents.