Photo of Victoria bus driver with e-reader prompts BC Transit investigation
A Vancouver Island bus driver is under investigation after a passenger snapped a picture of him apparently driving with an open e-reader beside him.
Passenger Brent D’Argis took a photo that appears to show an e-reader mounted on the dashboard of the bus with a book displayed.
“When we stopped at the intersection of Saanich and Oak, I went to the front doors of the bus and observed the bus driver using an e-reader,” he said.
“He clearly did glance over at the device and was looking at it. He even turned the page once too.”
When those actions were questioned, the driver said he was exempt from distracted driving laws.
D’Argis was unconvinced and brought the photo to BC Transit’s attention.
In a statement, BC Transit said it “has received a complaint and, as we do with all complaints, we are following up with an internal investigation. We place a high importance on safety as it is our top value. BC Transit employees are expected to obey the motor vehicle act.”
Details of the investigation will not be released to the public in order to protect the driver’s privacy.
Saanich Police are also concerned.
“Our traffic safety unit is looking into the situation and gathering all of the information they can to make sure that they get the big picture and make the right decision,” Det. Cst. Damian Kowalewich said.
“We do see this a lot still. It is a problem on our roads.”
B.C. has some of the toughest distracted driving penalties in the country with a first offence costing $543 and $888 for a second offence with subsequent fines going up from there.
“After a year or so of the increased penalties, we’ll see whether the trend is going down and if it isn’t, then we’re going to have to have another look at it, perhaps bring in more serious sanctions,” Public Safety Minister Mike Morris said.
D’Argis said it’s necessary to do whatever it takes to get the message across that distracted driving is no joke.
“There’s a lot of lives that you can take if you take your eyes off the road for just one second,” he said.
– With files from Kylie Stanton
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