Seman Tov bus company under fire for allegations of unsafe conditions
The Seman Tov bus company is facing several allegations of unsafe conditions on its buses.
Former Seman Tov driver David Johnson says he walked out on his job Wednesday because of the conditions of the buses he was asked to drive.
"They wanted me to drive a school bus with no headlights, as well as a bus with one headlight and bad brakes," Johnson says. "These buses should not be on the road. It's unsafe to be on the road and kids should not be in this bus."
News 12 New Jersey obtained photographs from a father in Shark River Hills that seems to show warning lights for problems with lights, brakes, and the transmission in one of the buses.
A mother from Bradley Beach tells News 12 New Jersey that her daughter saw the driver of her school bus texting while driving. Beth Kepler says she saw the bus hop a curb as well.
"[My daughter] was afraid there was going to be an accident," Kepler says.
Kepler's daughter was able to take some pictures of the driver which seem to show the driver texting while driving.
An attorney for Seman Tov tells News 12 New Jersey that they stand by the bus driver in this incident, because they checked the driver's phone records and no calls or texts were made while on the route.
Kepler received a cease and desist letter from the attorney demanding she stop making the allegations. Kepler filed a complaint against her daughter's driver and heads to court in December.
As for the Johnson allegations, the attorney says they are being investigated internally.
"The company policy is to only put safe buses on the road with competent drivers. Safety is a paramount concern," the attorney said in a statement.
State records show that 76 percent of Seman Tov buses fail their initial inspections.