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CBS 2 Exclusive: NJ TRANSIT Bus Operator Caught Reading While Driving

WAYNE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — It is perfectly acceptable to read on a bus during your commute, but not if you’re the driver.

However, as CBS 2’s Christine Sloan reported exclusively, a bus driver was allegedly caught reading Tuesday morning while driving more than 40 passengers on his NJ TRANSIT bus.

A commuter snapped photos and said the driver was reading while driving in stop-and-go traffic on Route 80 East in Wayne, New Jersey.

“First, he took out a pamphlet, and he’s reading a pamphlet. And it looked like it was vacation pamphlet, maybe planning a trip – I’m like, ‘OK, it’s summer. This may be quick.’ He put it down,” said the commuter, who did not want to be identified. “Next thing, the driver takes out a hardcover book from off the dash.”

The woman said she took the pictures of the driver on the 324 bus during rush hour.

In one photo, the NJ TRANSIT driver had one hand on the steering wheel and reading material in the other hand. Afterward, he put his book on the steering wheel.

A passenger snapped this photograph of an NJ TRANSIT bus driver allegedly reading while driving a bus with 40 people onboard. (Credit: CBS 2)

A passenger snapped this photograph of an NJ TRANSIT bus driver allegedly reading while driving a bus with 40 people onboard. (Credit: CBS 2)

The rider said it went on for 10 minutes.

“The bus was moving slowly. We were in some heavy traffic,” the woman said. “Once the traffic cleared up and we were able to move, accelerate, we were going a little faster, he did put the book down.”

NJ TRANSIT officials would not go on camera, but said they are aware of the pictures and are thoroughly investigating.

In a statement, an NJ TRANSIT representative said: “We share the concerns of the customers who brought this matter to our attention. We are committed to ensuring the safety of bus operation and taking swift and appropriate action upon the completion of our investigation.”

CBS 2 showed the pictures to commuters who use buses. They couldn’t believe it.

“It is terrible — everybody’s life is in danger,” said Sandra Dinkins, of Newark.

As for the rider who took the photos, she said she wishes she had confronted the driver.

“Honestly, I was just — I was upset,” she said. “I was really disturbed. I couldn’t believe, like, this man is irresponsible. There’s 40-plus passengers on the bus.”

But the woman said what was most disturbing was that no one else on the bus seemed to care.

NJ TRANSIT will not say what “swift and appropriate action” it will take against the driver.

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