SUSSEX, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A woman hired to safely drive students to and from school is under investigation for using FaceTime while driving.
On Monday, CBS2’s Meg Baker spoke with the mother of the student who caught it all on camera.
Talk about distracted driving. The video, taken on a school van in Sussex, shows the driver is FaceTiming while driving. That’s right. She is seen video chatting while in charge of school children’s lives.
Michelle Urban said her 16-year-old son was nervous and alone in the van as he documented the bad behavior on Thursday afternoon.
“He came home and he said, ‘Mom, I have a video to show you. My driver was FaceTiming while driving.’ It kind of blew my mind,'” Urban said. “I think he felt unsafe because she was distracted.”
Urban posted her son’s video to Facebook, saying “Imagine if she was driving a child unable to speak or communicate. I am thoroughly disgusted. Would you want your child driven by her??”
“People are shocked that a professional would behave like this,” Urban told CBS2’s Baker.
Urban said the driver works for D.W. Clark & Son of Franklin, a transportation company contracted by the High Point Regional School District. Baker went to the management office to ask if the driver was fired.
“I cannot make a comment on a personnel issue,” a representative said.
“The next morning, I reported it to his school. The administrator took it very seriously,” Urban said.
Superintendent Dr. Scott D. Ripley said the driver was taken off the route.
“Ensuring the well being and safety of our students is our most important responsibility,” Ripley said. “The driver in not an employee of the High Point Regional Board of Education, but is rather an employee of a company with whom we contract to transport students; we have had a positive relationship with the company, which is highly reputable. As soon as we were made aware of the incident, on Friday, we acted immediately to ensure that the driver was no longer permitted to drive for High Point Regional contracted routes.”
New Jersey law prohibits the hand-held use of cellphones and other devices while driving. The phone in this case is mounted to the dashboard, but still her eyes must come off the road to look at the video screen.
And this isn’t the first time. She said her son witnessed his driver FaceTiming many times before, and this time thought to document it. Now, the state police are investigating.
A new driver will be assigned to drive Urban’s son starting Tuesday.