Ignition Interlock on School Buses Makes Sense

School Bus with Ignition Interlock

Nearly 700,000 school bus drivers keep our kids safe going to and from school each day. But a recent study of incidents involving impaired school bus drivers reveals that school districts might benefit from safety measures. Ignition Interlock on school buses would be a step in the right direction.

A recent special report by Stateline (an initiative of the Pew Charitable Trusts) offers insight about the impact of impaired school bus drivers. Of course, the overwhelming majority of school bus drivers are dedicated to making sure it’s a safe ride. But Stateline points out that more than 1,620 schoolchildren in 38 states have been affected by impaired drivers since 2015.

Ignition Interlock on School Buses Can Make a Difference

According to Stateline’s analysis, more than 118 drivers were arrested for operating a school bus while allegedly impaired. Other data suggests that many additional impaired school bus drivers have been identified through random drug and alcohol screenings.

Stateline says that a number of advocates are pushing for Ignition Interlock Devices on school buses. They also note that the program director at the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance believes that every school bus should have an alcohol detection device on board.

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Looking at Recent School Bus Incidents

Stateline’s investigation is underscored by recent incidents:

An Attorney Recommends Smart Start Ignition Interlock

Potential Solutions to Deter Impaired Driving on School Buses

Stateline cited other incidents, and noted that potential deterrence strategies include:

  • Ignition Interlocks for school bus drivers.
  • Visual check-ins to screen drivers who might be impaired.
  • Random drug and alcohol testing.
  • A federal database that identifies drivers who have previous drug and alcohol testing violations.

We applaud the hundreds of thousands of school bus drivers who put children’s safety first. But – as any proponent of drunk driving prevention will tell you – even one accident is too many. That’s why Ignition Interlock Devices for school buses would make a real difference.

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