A school bus driver is facing impaired driving charges after the school bus with kids onboard that she was driving collided with another vehicle in Brampton. The collision took place at Countryside and Coleraine drives on June 24.
According to the Peel police, the incident was a “minor collision” and no one was injured. The driver, a 61-year-old woman from Brampton, has been charged with driving while impaired by alcohol, with blood alcohol content (BAC) over 0.08%.
“We have a collective responsibility to protect children, which will be more challenging as our New Jersey laws and attitudes toward drugs like marijuana evolve,” DeAnne DeFuccio added. “School bus drivers are carrying our most precious cargo and our rules regarding drug and alcohol testing should reflect that.”
Currently, there is no legislation in Canada requiring school bus drivers to undergo drug or alcohol testing. However, mandatory drug testing for school bus drivers was one of the recommendations made to a Calgary judge during the inquiry of a case involving a student’s death in 2008. Meanwhile, in New Jersey, US, school bus drivers face more drug testing after the introduction of a new bill requiring all public and private school bus drivers to be drug tested twice a year earlier in May.
U.S. school bus drivers are subject to annual random drug tests under U.S. legislation. In addition, school districts or contracted bus companies are obligated to test 10% of their drivers for alcohol and 50% for drugs including controlled opiates and cannabis each year. If the new bill is passed, all school bus drivers will be required to be tested at least twice annually, including drivers for private schools.
The bill was sponsored by state Assembly members Robert Auth and DeAnne DeFuccio of Bergen County one week after recreational cannabis use became legal in the state of New Jersey.
“This is a situation where lives are at stake,” said Robert Auth of Bergen County in his interview with NJ Advance Media. “I have no tolerance for this particular thing when it comes to children. We have to protect our children.”