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Attorney Steven Gursten tells CBS News school bus driver safety is failing

Steven Gursten says because there are no universal standards, some of the most important federal mandatory safety rules don’t apply to school bus drivers

Michigan Auto Law attorney Steven Gursten was features in a June 27, 2017, CBS News story that discovered “[A] stunning lack of oversight of school bus drivers.”

The story discloses details of an investigation into bus driver hiring, finding that “[o]n average, at least once a week a driver is arrested for driving under the influence or child pornography, or even sexually assaulting a child.”

The investigation also revealed an average of 22,000 bus crashes a year — or 60 a day — that injure “thousands of students.”

Gursten has been a longtime proponent for stricter school bus driver safety rules and for more driver training. He told CBS News that Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations don’t apply to bus drivers:

“Truck drivers that are driving heads of lettuce or television sets actually have to meet higher safety standards than the people that drive our children on school buses.”

The story further notes that drivers with disqualifying medical conditions are not be able to work for a company like Greyhound, but could drive a school bus. Gursten said:

“Parents assume when they put their children on a school bus that that driver is safe. These parents really need to be asking who’s driving their children. … [T]here is nothing that automatically will disqualify a school bus driver who, let’s say, has an extensive criminal background or DUIs or has caused too many crashes.”

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