NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A Metropolitan Transportation Authority bus driver has been slapped with a 20-day suspension, after allegedly being caught texting behind the wheel in the rain earlier this week.
As CBS 2’s Dave Carlin reported, riders used words such as “dangerous” and “scary” when CBS 2 showed them the video of a bus operator texting and driving on a rain-soaked New Jersey Turnpike.
“He never even looked up,” a woman said. “How crazy is that?”
The driver was seen glancing at the wet, busy road — but mostly, his eyes are on his phone. His hands keep coming off the wheel to text.
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The texting while driving incident was believed to have happened Wednesday night, as an X22 express bus headed from Midtown to Staten Island.
The texting appeared to ramp up as the driver exited the Lincoln Tunnel, proceeded down the New Jersey Turnpike, and headed over the Goethals Bridge to Staten Island.
The bus operator is a veteran, driving for the MTA since 1993. This is his first phone-related offense.
He has been suspended 20 days with no pay.
“You’re risking people’s lives,” a woman said.
Riders and some other bus operators said they are grateful someone got the proof and turned in the driver.
“I would say something to him, I wouldn’t hesitate,” one woman said.
“Never, ever (do that),” a bus driver said. “It’s against the law.”
CBS 2 spoke to leaders of the union representing bus drivers, who said they are constantly reminding members to obey the law, follow the rules, and be mindful there are cameras on board and managers posing as riders to observe what happens
If this driver texts and drives again, he is done. A second strike would result in his termination.
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