Man claims he caught county employee reading and driving

by: Mike Petchenik Updated:

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FULTON COUNTY, Ga - Reading is one of the fundamental subjects taught in school, but a Fulton County School District employee, caught reading while driving, could be in hot water.

A school district spokeswoman told Channel 2’s Mike Petchenik the district is investigating after a Channel 2 Action News viewer took a picture of the employee with her head down in a book while driving on Georgia 400 during rush hour Monday.

“All I could tell is, it was a thick book,” said Eric Pfleger, whose wife took the picture while he was driving.  “That’s when my wife said, ‘OK, we just have to get a picture. I have to at least send this to Fulton County schools to alert them that one of their employees is practicing distracted driving on the road.’”

Pfleger told Petchenik, traffic was stop and go, and heavy on that stretch of Georgia 400, and the woman driving the SUV was definitely not paying attention.

“There were a couple of incidents where we were driving parallel to her, where she wasn’t keeping up with the cars, was on the brake a lot longer, cars behind her were inching, then she would speed up,” he said.

Petchenik also emailed the pictures to Fulton County school officials. Spokeswoman Susan Hale emailed back to say the district was trying to determine who was behind the wheel.

“It is the expectation that FCS employees who operate district vehicles should be safety-minded and exhibit exemplary driving behavior,” Hale wrote.  “We will discuss this situation with the employee and take any appropriate action.”

Pfleger said he wanted to bring attention to the issue of distracted driving, especially since the woman in the picture works for a school system.

“Given that you have a high-profile vehicle, of Fulton County schools, recognize that you send certain messages and if students see someone in that vehicle practicing distracted driving, it takes away from the message you’re trying to teach the students out there,” he said.