Florida school bus driver texts behind the wheel

Posted at 8:07 AM, Mar 08, 2013
and last updated 2013-03-08 10:07:43-05

(CNN– SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla.)– A Seminole County bus driver accused of using his cellphone while behind the wheel could be fired, officials said.

Parents complained to the district, accusing Robert Stancheski of texting while driving his route.

Channel 9 has learned it’s against school policy for bus drivers to use their cellphones while behind the wheel unless it’s an emergency, but Stancheski was caught using his phone twice, and it was caught on video.

In one of the videos that was taken in December, Stancheski appears to be checking his text messages while the bus is moving.

The video shows Stancheski taking his eye off the road several times and at one point, he takes both hands off the wheel.

Parents at the elementary school where Stancheski picked up students were appalled when they learned of the accusations.

“I don’t ever text while driving, and he shouldn’t be doing it either,” said parent Alex Gonzalez. “They have kids’ lives in their hands.”

Channel 9 found Stancheski was suspended in April after district officials found another video of him again texting while driving.

That time, officials said Stancheski got into a minor accident minutes after he put his phone down.

“Why is he even still driving if he has already been in trouble for it once?” asked parent Nikkole Newman.

Stancheski has been with the district less than two years, and has been suspended without pay for the last three weeks.

He told Channel 9 on Thursday he’s fighting to keep his job, but he refused to answer any questions.

Many parents told WFTV they don’t think he deserves another chance.

“If he’s already in trouble for it once and continuing to do it, I would think should probably be fired,” said Newman.

District officials said no students were on the bus during the two incidents.

The school board will vote on his termination next week.

CNN story via WFTV.