Schenectady County

Duanesburg school district makes plea not to text while driving

The school bus involved in the crash on Jan. 12, 2022, is seen.

The school bus involved in the crash on Jan. 12, 2022, is seen.

The Duanesburg Central School District is urging people to stop texting while driving after one of its school buses was hit by an SUV on Jan. 12 while 25 students were on board.

“All the kids were fine,” said Superintendent James Niedermeier, adding that students — mostly elementary and middle school students — suffered only scrapes and bruises. Niedermeier noted it is a kindergarten through 12th grade bus.

The crash happened at about 3 p.m. in the area of 9072 Duanesburg Road and involved the school bus and the SUV, officials said.

The bus had been traveling east on Duanesburg Road when the westbound SUV crossed the center line and struck the school bus head-on, officials said.

The driver of the SUV did not report any injuries.

The SUV driver was ticketed for operating her vehicle while using her cell phone, failure to keep right, crossing over double solid markings, driving an unregistered motor vehicle and failure to give way to oncoming traffic. The driver was not identified in a release.

The Schenectady County Sheriff’s Department did not return a request for further comment on the crash.

Niedermeier said this shouldn’t have happened.

“We talk about the dangers of texting while driving all the time to students,” he said. “This was a really good illustration of the kind of damage that texting and driving can do. For someone to be so distracted that they are unable to see a school bus really indicates the power that people’s phones kind of have on them while they are driving.”

He said if you absolutely need to send a text, pull over.

“There is no text that is so important that you should take your eyes off the road to answer it,” he said. “Everything can wait.”

The bus involved in the crash was totaled and will cost $117,000 to replace. Niedermeier said they have a back up bus they are able to use, which is great given supply chain issues.

“There just aren’t new buses to be had right away,” he said.

Niedermeier said people have to remember they are behind the wheel of a giant projectile.

“It can do a lot of damage and sometimes I think we forget about that,” he said.

Categories: News, Schenectady County

One Comment

Bill Wemple

Bill the driver for replacement cost caused by her negligence. Points on license, fines, etc., are not enough. Until people really take an immediate hit in their wallets (no pun here), this texting while driving behavior won’t stop.

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