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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: February 5, 2019 10:48 AM
From: Representative William C. Kortz, II
To: All House members
Subject: Prohibiting Distracted Driving for School Bus Drivers
School buses are an essential form of transportation for our children and keeping them safe while traveling is an enormous responsibility for our school districts. This is why legislation amending the Public School Code by prohibiting school bus drivers from using cellular or wireless phones or consuming any food or beverages while operating a school bus or school vehicle that is transporting children is needed.

Specifically, this legislation would prohibit the use of a cellular phone or similar device while operating a school bus/vehicle that is transporting children, but it would still allow the use of a two-way radio for communication purposes. Additionally, a driver would be permitted to use a cellular phone in an emergency situation.

The bill also contains a provision, recommended by the Pennsylvania School Boards Association, which provides an exemption for school bus drivers that have medical conditions which may require them to consume food or beverages. However, this exemption still requires a driver to park in a safe area off of a roadway to consume food or beverages.

Under this proposal, a violation of this law would be a primary offense and carry a fine of $50 to $100, or a fine of $300 if a violation results in a traffic accident. Please consider joining me in co-sponsoring this legislation and keeping our children safe.

Introduced as HB691