The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has finalized changes that make a school bus driver applicant’s entire driving record available to the would-be employer. The new policy follows a fatal crash involving bus driver Frederick Poust of Schwenksville early this year outside the Perkiomen Valley West Middle School, on Route 73 near Swamp Creek Road in Zieglerville. The company that employed him said it found no record of a fatal crash in Hilltown in 1999, when he ran a stop sign while talking on a cell phone, killing a two-year-old girl. Montgomery County State Representative Josh Shapiro, who pushed for the new policy, says PennDot made two key changes in the information it provides to school districts and bus companies.
“A complete and full driver’s history, in the past it only went back ten years, and if there have been accidents or crashes a better understanding of what occurred in those crashes, whether injuries resulted or, God forbid, fatalities resulted, so all of that information will now be made available to the school districts and/or the bus companies.”
Poust is charged with homicide by vehicle and other offenses in the February crash. Police say he caused it by improperly entering the opposing traffic lane. Onboard bus video shows him driving recklessly and running ten stop signs prior to the crash.