A school bus driver who was caught looking at a used cell phone while operating the vehicle has been forced to resign from her job in Rockingham County in the United States. Mary Bondurant was the subject of a complaint by a parent to school system officials last Friday after having seen the bus cross over the yellow line. When security footage was examined following the complaint, it caught the driver in the act of picking up and putting down a cell phone several times while driving the school bus between the Wednesday and Friday of last week. It seems clear that Bondurant’s position became untenable.
While the evidence did not show that Bondurant actually talked or texted on the cell phone while driving the bus, it is against state law for anyone operating a motor vehicle to be using them at all, according to Rockingham School County spokeswoman Karen Hyler. The State Highway Patrol is now also investigating the incident. On Friday, Bondurant was told by school officials that she would not be allowed to drive the school bus on the following Monday; on the Sunday, she then elected to submit her resignation as both school bus driver and teacher’s assistant.
“We don’t want them to be distracted,” says Superintendant Dr Rodney Shotwell, who points out that the school operates a “zero tolerance” policy for bus drivers who are caught using cell phones. “Their number one job is to keep their eyes on the road and two hands on the steering wheel.”