I truly am stunned by a recent situation in which a local school bus driver was found impaired while driving (with no kids in the bus at the time). It seems obvious to me that sobriety while operating a moving vehicle (any vehicle at any time, for that matter) would be a very basic qualification for such a job. No brainer, right? Equally crucial, for any form of employment, would be sobriety while, oh, say, ON THE JOB. Yes? Put them together and you want a bus driver who never drinks and drives, ever, but one who is especially conscious of the need not to be DUI while at work.
So apart from simply stating the obvious (“If you drink, you’re outta here.”), it seems reasonable to me to keep tabs on people and make sure they haven’t slammed back a case of beer at 7am, before dropping the kids off at school. Educate and supervise. Excellent plan.
I’m actually against random blood tests for drug detection. You can tell all sorts of things about a person from a drug test, some of which you have no business knowing. Jabbing a needle into someone is extremely invasive, especially to those with phobias about such things.
There’s no point in completely overhauling a system because one person screws up, but why not institute a simple solution to cover the majority of possible such incidents that might occur. Install alcohol detection devices on the ignitions of all public vehicles such as buses, school buses, trains, boats, etc. These things are available. They’re not incredibly cheap, but neither is the turmoil of investigation, lawsuits and PR that ensue from such incidents. Make it so the damned bus won’t turn on if the driver has been drinking. It wouldn’t catch the crack addicts or those who eat hash brownies for breakfast, but it’ll nip drinking and driving quite handily. It is also non-discriminatory; it’ll detect booze in anyone behind the wheel every time.
Like I say, it’d be worth looking into, especially for school buses.
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I think that’s a great idea, Vicky. I especially appreciate the non-discriminatory aspect of it. Someone who’s drunk before I’ve even finished my first coffee of the day has problems I don’t wish to trivialize. But, the first priority is keeping the kids (and everyone else on the road) safe.