Bridgeport, Conn. (WTNH) - A Trumbull school bus driver accused of texting while driving was granted Accelerated Rehabilitation Friday.
Authorities say Evelyn Guzman, 47, sent and received hundreds of texts while behind the wheel and it was all caught on surveillance camera.
They walked out of Bridgeport Superior Court, feeling a little bit better than they did walking in, but the group of Trumbull parents are still not satisfied.
"My walk away from all this is that, that judge needs a better law. He needs a bigger book to throw at people like this. So, next stop Hartford, and message to my elected officials; I'm gonna be knocking on your door. We gotta change the law," says one parent.
Their special needs children, like 10-year-old Bella Stagliano, were the ones riding the school bus while Guzman, 47, was texting and driving.
They were in front of the court with petition signatures in hand to oppose Accelerated Rehabilitation for Guzman.
Commonly called "A.R.", it's a probation program in which the charges are dropped if successfully completed. In court, judge Earl B. Richards called Guzman's actions senseless and dangerous, and tacked strict conditions onto her A.R.
He suspended her license for two years with no work permit, revoked her right to ever drive public transportation, and imposed 200 hours of community service as well as a $500 fine, letting the Trumbull parents know their voices were heard.
"He imposed some extremely stiff penalties, equivalent to what would have happened had Evelyn Guzman had a second time D.U.I. So, the penalties were very strict, and we're at least pleased by that," says a parent.
Guzman apologized to the parents in court, saying she loved the kids, and never meant to put them in harm's way. The parents say they're happy she said it, but chalk it up as too little, too late.
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