Muni to Fire Driver Who Was Busted Texting Behind the Wheel

Categories: Public Transit
Thumbnail image for Muni crash01.jpg
This is why you shouldn't text and drive
Texting while behind the wheel happens all the time. But firing a Muni operator -- that's a rarity.

Muni did the seemingly impossible on Thursday and moved to fire the bus operator who was busted on video sending and receiving text messages while driving a busload of passengers down Divisadero.

It's curious  because initially the bus driver was suspended for three days after the Feb. 27 distracted driving incident. The driver has been back on the job ever since, according to KTVU.

Until the media got hold of the video.

KTVU got a copy of the cellphone footage taken by passenger Shawn Higgins, who recorded the driver tapping away at her keypad while navigating the bus down the street. The video went viral among news outlets on Wednesday, prompting Muni officials to take another look.

John Haley, SFMTA transit operations director, told KTVU that the video clearly shows the driver lied. She had told a supervisor that she had pulled the bus over to text about a family emergency. But when Muni officials viewed Higgins' video on KTVU, they saw it told a very different story.

"We took appropriate action based on the information that we had at the time. However, this is new information," Haley says. "What the video demonstrates is unacceptable behavior."

What Haley means by that is that texting and driving is against the law.

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5 comments
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Rickrub
Rickrub

No point in complaining about MUNI. It's a hopeless situation. They don't careand the drivers don't care, either.

Anngrogan
Anngrogan

I only feel sorry that I didn't pursue an intended complaint a year ago. I rode the bus from Glen park to the zoon and back twice. On both occasions the same driver carried on a cell hpone conversation with his friends or family, discussing various social events and giving instructions on one occasion to his wife about how to handle such matters. I almost asked to get off his bus and I should have. This is not acceptable just as texting is not acceptable. My life is worth more to me than the bus driver's apparently was to him, or this driver's life was to her. Won't happen again!

njudah
njudah

Which is worse: an arrogant operator breaking the law and endangering lives, or the fact that Muni management under Haley believed the driver over the owner/rider, and initially didn't think it was a big deal?

Also: once again, union leadership backed a bad apple instead of sticking up for the good ones. Hope none of them gets killed by a careless person texting while driving.

Chris King
Chris King

That is what I was thinking Richard. What happened to the video on the bus? She will probably get a deskjob.

Richard H
Richard H

She won't actually be fired. I'd be really surprised if she is fired.

Also, what happened to the video on board each bus? Shouldn't MUNI look at that video recording too? Or does this mean those things don't actually work...

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