Ignition interlock devices have become quite popular for cars. Well, they may not exactly be popular with those who are convicted of drinking and driving and have to shell out the money to get one installed. But, they have been proven to prevent users from driving drunk which improves the safety of our roads and in the end saves lives.
Now, there are some who are pushing for these devices to be installed on school busses as well in order to make sure that bus drivers are not driving drunk when transporting children to and from their school. It certainly is important that we secure the safety of our children, but one has to ask if it is really necessary to outfit all of our school busses with ignition interlock devices in order to do that.
Ignition interlock devices can save lives.
Some say yes. There have been a few recent incidences of drunken bus drivers who have in some cases crashed their busses (thankfully without any serious injuries or deaths to the kids on board) and been fired for the action. While installing an alcohol monitoring device on a bus would possibly prevent this, it is also a potentially expensive endeavor as well.
When a court orders an individual to have an ignition interlock device installed on his or her vehicle, it is typically done at that person’s expense. The devices can be installed at most any local auto shop and the bill is footed by the individual convicted of the DUI. If we were to outfit school busses with alcohol monitoring devices it would be at the expense of taxpayers. So the question is are there enough drivers out there who are really a risk to drive drunk to merit the cost of installing an ignition interlock on every school bus.
Outfitting several fleets of school busses across a state would certainly be an expensive endeavor, but if it could measurably increase the safety of our children it may be worth it. The cost could be prohibitive however, even if a local auto shop were likely to offer a significant discount for the amount of business that this endeavor would bring them.