A couple of weeks back KPRC Local 2 investigative reported Amy Davis reported on Houston Metro bus drivers that were apparently using Facebook while behind the wheel. In response to the piece Metro has now fired both of the drivers featured in the investigation.
Metro said that they used GPS to determine whether or not the drivers were actually behind the wheel while typing on their cells and judging by the recent firings the findings were not good.
While there have not been any texting while driving accidents associated with Houston Metro drivers to date, other cities have seen serious mass transit accidents caused by texting.
We all know that texting while driving a car is extremely dangerous, but texting while driving a bus, how much more dangerous can it get? Although I have never driven a bus I am certain there is some degree of difficulty to maneuvering a 20 ton vehicle through the crowded streets of a city like Houston, and texting can only serve to make it more difficult.
Bus drivers are responsible for the lives of those people aboard their bus and have an obligation to both their passengers and other drivers to ensure that they are operating there vehicle in a safe manner.
It is also important to remember that bus passengers are customers and are entitled to a high level of safety by law. In the event of an accident, passengers that are injured on a bus may have the right to sue for injuries caused by the accident. Maybe it’s just me but an accident that was caused by a bus driver that was texting while driving probably would not sit well with jurors in a potential personal injury lawsuit.
It’s good to see that Metro did the right thing here. They simply cannot take the risk of having an accident caused by texting. The safety of their passengers is something that Metro cannot afford to gamble with, and thankfully with their prompt actions here they have not.