Kerkman-backed bill banning cellphone use by school bus drivers clears Assembly committee

Photo by coopah via

Photo by coopah via

A bill that would ban cellphone use by people driving school buses that was  introduced by state Rep. Samantha Kerkman and state Sen. Timothy Carpenter has cleared a state Assembly committee.

“Too often the use of cellphones while driving results in tragic accidents,” Kerkman said. “These accidents become even more tragic when several young children are involved either on their way to school or on the way home.”

The bill, Senate Bill 91, passed the Assembly Committee of Transportation Thursday in a unanimous vote. It had previously passed the Senate. It will now be considered for inclusion in the floor agenda during the fall session, which begins Sept. 16. Passage by the Assembly will send the bill to the governor to sign into law or veto.

Samantha Kerkman

Samantha Kerkman

Her interest in the bill was piqued by a constituent who had heard about drivers using cellphones while driving for her children’s school district, said Kerkman, who lives in Randall and whose Assembly district includes most of Western Kenosha County.

“I understand that most responsible school bus drivers would never consider using a wireless device while transporting kids to and from school, but the temptation to answer an incoming call is still there,” Kerkman said. This is common sense legislation to ensure our kids are safe at all times while riding in a school bus.”

An association that represents school bus companies had concerns with the original version of the bill regarding the use of two-way radios, commonly used by bus companies and school districts for official communications with bus drivers. The bill allows two-way radio use, Kerkman said.

A press release on the matter is available here.


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