Driving while texting or talking on the phone is not a very good idea. Driving a bus while texting or talking on the phone is an awful, dangerous idea. And after nearly 650 MTA bus drivers were busted using their phones in the last two years the agency has decided to take the issue seriously. A new zero-tolerance rule set to kick in on January 12 means a driver caught on the phone just once could be fired. Which is good since of those 650 violations 90 of them were double offenders, 25 were triple offenders and five were quadruple offenders! Even worse, of those only 11 were fired, four took demotions and four are still waiting to hear their fate.
Under the new plan, which the Transport Workers Union Local 100 president calls "draconian," drivers would not pass go after the first offense. They will still be able to appeal to an arbitrator, but it will be much harder to get back behind the wheel.
Which is good, because there is enough going on in city streets—what with those pesky cars, pedestrians and, shudder, bicyclists—that there really isn't an excuse for a bus driver to take their eyes off the road. Further, giving drivers a second chance behind the wheel can be fatal. Last year a bus driver was suspended for texting only to fatally struck a pedestrian on his first day back on the job.
And don't even get us started on the drivers eating and reading behind the wheel.
Finally, because it's always good to show not tell, this video is a good example of why drivers shouldn't use their phones on the job: