October 17, 2016 10:19 pm
Updated: October 17, 2016 10:38 pm

Photo of Victoria bus driver with e-reader prompts BC Transit investigation

WATCH: A Vancouver Island bus driver is under investigation after one of his riders snapped a picture of him not taking distracted driving seriously. As Kylie Stanton reports, the picture appears to show him with an open e-reader beside him.


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.

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“He clearly did glance over at the device and was looking at it. He even turned the page once too.”

READ MORE: One in four deaths on B.C. roads due to distracted driving: ICBC

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.

READ MORE: Chronic distracted driver now banned from driving in BC

“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

© 2016 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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