Dangers of Public Transit Drivers Talking or Texting on Cell PhonePosted: Updated:
KENNEWICK, Wash-- We know that texting while driving a car is very dangerous, what about texting while driving a city bus or school bus?
Friday's trolley crash in Boston causes transit leaders to ban all bus drivers and train operators from carrying cell phones all together. This comes after the 24 year-old trolley operator admitted he was texting his girlfriend just before the crash.
"Obviously, there are some interesting circumstances here that have already been revealed. Thankfully we did not have any fatalities in this accident including the operator," said Debbie Hersman, Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority.
Recently a bus driver in San Antonio, Texas was caught on camera texting, then crashing into backed-up traffic on the highway.
Then, last September in Los Angeles 25 people died in a commuter train crash. Authorities say the train operator had sent text messages right before the crash.
"It is a disciplinary offense. Safety is our first concern and we take that very seriously up to and including termination," said Barbara Hays, Operations Manager, Ben-Franklin Transit.
Some Ben-Franklin bus drivers say their family and friends know when they are on the road their cell phone will not be answered.
"We do not want to have distractions that could cause an accident," said Stanley Strand, Ben-Franklin Bus Driver.
"It's terrible, you can take your eyes off of the road for a second or two and that second or two could mean life or death for somebody," said Patti Badeau, Ben-Franklin Bus Driver.
School district leaders at Richland, Pasco, and Kennewick say cell phones, Bluetooth's and texting is prohibited when they are driving with students, the only thing you may see them talking on are their two-way radios.