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Mom says she caught Henrico school bus driver texting while driving

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HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- If you are caught texting while driving in Virginia, you are breaking the law.

And that's just what Danielle Richardson claims she and her friend saw while driving next to a Henrico school bus Wednesday afternoon.

"Whether he was putting in a text message or a route of whatever, he still shouldnt have been doing it," Richardson said.

Richardson contacted CBS 6 and sent us a picture of the bus in question, but it is tough to tell if the driver is texting behind the wheel.

Richardson worries about the kids on board and her own safety.

"I was mad. I was frustrated. My daughter's starting school next year and my husband and I have contemplated if whether we do want to send her on the bus or not," said Richardson.

Richardson's complaint prompted CBS 6 News to contact school leaders.

"The photograph is inconclusive. We didn't see anything in that photograph that would indicate what the viewer is describing to us," said Andy Jenks, Henrico schools spokesman.

And Jenks says the bus driver denied texting behind the wheel.

Under state law, commercial vehicles like school buses are not allowed to text or hold their cell phone in their hand to talk to someone unless they have pulled over into a place where they can lawfully stop.

"In many cases, they're used as navigation devices and it helps keep them on their proper routes. So, that they can kids to and from school safely and on time," said Jenks.

Jenks said the school system receives bus driver complaints a few times a week. While he couldn't say how many of them are texting and driving related, school officials investigate it right away.

"We want to absolutely want to make sure that our bus drivers are operating with the utmost care and safety when they have students aboard," said Jenks.

He says if bus drivers are caught texting and driving - they could be suspended.

And that makes parents CBS 6 spoke with - feel much safer on the road.

"If you have somebody else's lives at stake, that's unacceptable," said Ashley Nance.

"I think we need to be more against it and responsible by reporting it to the proper authorities," said James Foust.

Commercial drivers caught texting and driving could face a hefty of fine of up to $2,750.

CBS 6 checked in with Richmond and Chesterfield schools. School leaders in Richmond said they have not received any complaints of bus drivers texting and driving. Chesterfield said they consider the issue a personnel matter, so could not provide any numbers.

Both school divisions said any complaints are investigated right away.

20 comments

  • Ron Melancon

    Wow watch out the school system might ban you. How dare you do this you can’t do this…. I applaud you for doing this because I did the same for capturing a GRTC bus driver doing the same thing and people critized me for doing it. And yes Henrico I have seen Bus Drivers do the same thing and yes Henrico I chose not to take a picture because I didn’t want to get banned or get a knock iny door…. So are you going to send a person to this knock on her door also,

  • mia

    I reported a Henrico bus running a red light at East Ridge and Three Chopt. Took 11 minutes of phone ringing, transfers, and hold. I wonder if anything was done.

  • Doyle Hargraves

    Snitches get stiches…get a life you losers. Who cares, those drivers could drive circles around you obnoxious soccer mom SUV drivers.

    • Sammy

      Gee thanks for the input from Gilpin Court. Just don’t think we could have a comment section with out the ghetto collective input.

  • Robert

    If he’s texting and driving, what was she doing while taking the picture??? If he’s driving then the bus is moving past her right?? So she has to be driving while taking the picture??? I’m just asking

  • Jean

    I come past Highland Springs schools everyday and the bus drivers drive crazy to get back to the school. They run red lights all the time on 9 mile rd. I’m glad I don’t have a kid that rides those buses.

  • Tina

    Texting or talking on a cell is a big NO..Cost you your job.Transportation at times will send drivers a route by phone.As to pick up your children in a timely fashion. Maybe even checking the time .There is no difference in this as it would be reading the route sheet or looking at your watch.. Yes you people better believe if a complaint is reported no matter if it’s left on a voice message the driver is investigated no matter how bogus. Now what I”d to know is, if this driver is innocent why doesn’t he get a lawyer & bring a suite against her. This concerned citizen has cause embarrassment, grief, & isn’t it something can be done about having your picture taken & spread around without your permission??

  • Cassie

    This is BS…I’m so tired of people trying to accuse bus drivers of shit like this. It was probably only reported because she thought she could get publicity and hush money out of it. NO school bus driver in their right mind would text while driving…especially with kids on the bus. People don’t know how hard being a school bus driver is, or what they deal with on a daily basis. It even says she snapped a pic but it’s not clear if the driver was texting or now. News flash, if she was THAT concerned about it, she would’ve done whatever she could do to get a CLEAR pic of it. Get real.

    • Linda

      I have seen bus drivers go flying through a 25 mph school zone, pull out in front of other vehicles, run red lights, not stop at RR crossings and the list goes on and on. Nothing will be done until someone is hurt or worse and many people are aware of good drivers vs. bad drivers. Yea you drive a bus but with that comes alot of responsebility and if that offends you, sit back and do nothing. I take slack from my job but you are not anymore special then another hard working person on this planet. If they saw something wrong, it should be reported, if it was unfounded then the School system can go after them.

    • Sammy

      Ms. Bichmond, you have been told over and over to stop concerning yourself with things outside of the GRTC bus route. You have never been more than 5 miles from Gilpin Court your entire life. Nor have you ever been burdened with buying a Fathers Day card. you STANK

  • Ms. Richmond

    Awwww Sammy did I hurt your feeling. I will let you play in my sandbox. It not your fault that your mom has been on maury for 4 dna test.

Comments are closed.