Waterbury bus driver caught using phone while driving gets suspended


WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — A Waterbury bus driver caught on camera texting and driving has now been suspended. A passenger recorded the video of the driver of bus 384 on her phone on Monday morning.

The Department of Transportation has a zero-tolerance policy for distracted driving, and isn’t taking what the passenger caught lightly. The first time a driver is caught driving distracted, he or she will either be suspended or fired, depending on the circumstances. If a driver is caught a second time, he or she is automatically out of a job. The DOT says drivers shouldn’t be on their phones while driving a bus, no matter what.

“They have a higher responsibility. They are carrying passengers in a mass transit system,” said DOT spokesman Kevin Nursick. “They are held to a higher accountability standard.”

This was first time this driver, who’s been on the job since 2001, was caught texting and driving. She works for North East Transportation, which is one of several private companies that operate some of the CT Transit buses.

ORIGINAL STORY: Is this Waterbury bus driver texting while driving?

“They need to understand that they are constantly in the eye of the public and they are always being watched,” said Nursick. “We expect the best from them.”

Passengers aren’t the only ones watching the bus drivers. Most buses, including bus 384, have cameras. Passengers say that accountability is important.

“She should probably get suspended or fired or something. She shouldn’t be [texting and] driving – that’s the law,” said passenger Joel Ovielo.

Still, passengers riding the buses in Waterbury were upset to hear that a driver had been caught texting. They say they typically don’t see anything like that happen on the buses, and they’re hoping they won’t.

“It gives me a lot of concern because it’s very irresponsible for a bus driver to be driving and texting,” a passenger said.

The DOT says issues like this one are rare.

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