Miami-Dade school bus drivers may soon be banned from sending text messages while driving

School Board member Larry Feldman has proposed a new rule that would prohibit bus drivers from using iPhones, Blackberrys and cellphones while on the road — except in cases of an emergency.

If his proposal passes, new rules would also apply to every district employee driving a district-owned vehicle.

Those employees, too, would be banned from texting while driving. And they would have to use a hands-free device to make a call from the car.

The rules would apply to all employees except school police officers, Feldman said.

“People don’t understand how serious of an issue this is,” he said. “It’s really dangerous. But unless it’s in black-and-white, people won’t pay attention to it.”

The School Board will take up the proposal at its meeting Tuesday.

Over the past year, texting while driving has become a hot-button issue.

A recent study by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute found that truck drivers sending text messages from the road were 23 times more likely to crash or nearly crash than drivers who were not distracted.

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