School district says bus driver will not be fired after video shows speeding bus
HOLDEN- The Livingston Parish school system says the driver of a school bus seen on video speeding down a rural highway between stops will not be fired.
The video taken by a concerned commuter shows the man trailing behind the bus along LA 441 near Montpelier with a speedometer in the foreground. The school bus appears to reach speeds over 70 miles per hour, pausing at bus stops only to pick up speed again. The bus was heading to Holden School.
“My concern was for the care and safety of the kids,” said Jody Vicknair who filmed the video and posted it to Facebook. “I couldn’t pick up the phone to make calls and do all of that. It’s one button to hit video and I wasn’t trying to get anyone in trouble but we’re talking about kids here.”
School officials say their buses cannot go faster than 72 miles per hour. The current speed limit on state highways is typically 55 miles per hour. The Assistant Superintendent says they’re looking into the incident, but the driver is keeping their job.
“No, and if people got fired all over the place because of spending I think you and I would be unemployed as well,” said Steve Parrill. “We have to manage what would be the correct discipline, if any, in a situation and we’re very much on top of it.”
Parrill said he is concerned about the speed of the bus. He’s also concerned about the recording.
“I was concerned because we had someone follow our bus driving with one hand, holding a cell phone. From watching the video you can see someone speeding up and slowing down. For somebody stressing bus safety, he was conducting himself very safe behind a bus,” said Parrill.
Vicknair acknowledges he was speeding himself while using his phone. He says he did it to show other parents what he was witnessing.
“Yes, I’m in the wrong but, there again, it’s the children and I’d do it tomorrow and every day after,” said Vicknair. “I’m actually glad [the driver] is not fired. I would just like things to get evaluated and bus drivers to do their job, and do it safely. That’s it.”
The principal of Holden School traveled that bus driver’s route this morning to make sure everything went smoothly.