Bill Would Prohibit Food Cell Phone Use, Food or Drink for School Bus Drivers

School bus drivers would be banned from using cell phones or consuming any food or beverages while operating a school bus or vehicle transporting children, under a bill introduced by state Rep. William Kortz, D-Allegheny.

“With more than a million school students riding buses each school year in Pennsylvania, it’s important that these drivers be focused on the task at hand: transporting children safely,” said Kortz. “We know it’s important that all drivers not be distracted behind the wheel, and school bus drivers are no different – they have an enormous responsibility to keep these children safe.”

House Bill 691 would amend the state’s Public School Code to prohibit the use of a cell phone or similar device while driving, but would still allow the use of a two-way radio for communication purposes. However, cell phones usage would be allowed in an emergency situation, provided the driver is safely parked off a roadway.

The measure also contains a provision that allows for school bus drivers with medical conditions to consume food or beverages, but they must do so while parked safety off a roadway.

Under H.B. 691, a violation would be considered a primary offense, carrying a fine of $50 to $100, or a fine of $300 if the violation results in a traffic accident.