Should all school buses have interlock devices installed?

There has been a push in New York to have all school buses fitted with alcohol ignition interlock devices to prevent any bus from being driven by an intoxicated driver.

Many parents are all for this legislation, especially after several incidents of drunk school bus drivers.

The drivers are not happy.  According to this story, “bus drivers’ unions call the mandates discriminatory. ‘Having my drivers have to go through a process that’s only reserved for people that have been convicted of a crime,’ Paul Mori of the New York School Bus Contractors Association.”

In Illinois, any bus driver who commits a DUI in a school bus transporting persons under the age of 18 is guilty of a Class 4 felony.  Also, if a person has a school bus driver’s permit and gets a DUI or reckless driving in a personal vehicle will have his or her bus permit disqualified for three years.

This is an example of competing values in conflict — on the one hand, extra precaution and safety for our children and on the other, a willingness to make the insulting presumption that school bus drivers have a high likelihood of coming to work drunk and that they do not care about the well-being of the children they transport, plus the public not giving much weight to the inconvenience of making bus drivers provide breath samples every time they start their vehicles and every time the device calls for a “rolling re-test.”

What do you think?

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