A Florida school bus driver was caught texting while driving, by all people, by one of her middle school students who had her own cell phone out and ready. A Hillsborough County school bus driver had one hand on the wheel, one on her phone, and two eyes not watching the road, reports ABC News on Sept. 20.
Venus Cotto-Silva, whose 14-year-old daughter caught the bus driver texting, was shocked when her daughter came home and showed her mom the video evidence.
“When she showed me the video, I just couldn't believe it,” Cotto-Silva said.
Cotto-Silva’s daughter, who is in eighth grade, was using her phone in an attempt to capture something else that the Florida bus driver was accused of doing: using profanity. Instead, she caught her driver doing something far more dangerous.
“I’m scared for the kids, all of them, not just my niece, all of them, everyone on that bus,” said Noah Cotto, the student’s uncle.
The school released a statement, calling their driver’s actions “troubling” and a “violation of policy.”
"Clearly the driver is looking at her cell phone. That’s a dangerous distraction for any driver, but the potential danger is greater when you have a bus full of children," the statement read.
In Florida, texting while driving is currently not illegal. However, as of October 1, Florida will join 41 other states that have specific restrictions in place on distracted driving in conjunction with texting. Three states additionally have a ban on the books for texting by school bus drivers.
Incredibly, the Florida texting law soon to go into effect exempts school bus drivers.
That’s a scary thought for Cotto-Silva.
“[School bus drivers who text] are going to kill those children on that bus,” she said.