SUSSEX, NJ (WCBS/CNN) - One school bus route in New Jersey is getting a new driver after a nervous 16-year-old recorded his bus driver video chatting on her phone while driving students home from school.
Mother Michelle Urban says her 16-year-old son was nervous and alone in a Sussex County, NJ, school van, as he documented the driver’s reported behavior Thursday afternoon.
“He came home and said, ‘Mom, I have a video to show you. My driver was FaceTiming while driving.’ It kind of blew my mind,” Urban said. “I think he felt unsafe because she was distracted.”
Urban posted her son’s video to Facebook, where she says people have been shocked that a professional would behave with such “gross negligence.”
“Imagine if she was driving a child unable to speak or communicate? ... I am thoroughly disgusted. Would you want your child driven by her?” Urban wrote.
Urban says she reported the incident, and the school administration took it seriously. A new driver has been assigned to transport her son. In addition, the superintendent of High Point Regional School District says the driver is no longer permitted to transport the district’s students.
The driver works for D.W. Clark & Son of Franklin, a transportation company contracted by High Point, according to Urban.
A representative for the company said they couldn’t comment on personnel issues.
Urban says her son witnessed his driver using FaceTime while driving many times before, but this was the first time he thought to document it.
New Jersey law prohibits the use of cell phones and other devices held in one’s hand while driving. The driver’s phone in this case was mounted to the dashboard, not held in her hand.
State police are investigating the incident.
According to the New Jersey Herald, police can issue tickets to drivers participating in any activity that distracts them from the road. The state’s attorney general specifically lists watching videos as a form of distracted driving.