Bus driver caught using e-reader on the job in Saanich
Published Friday, October 14, 2016 5:32PM PDT Last Updated Friday, October 14, 2016 6:44PM PDT
BC Transit launched an investigation on Friday after one of its employees was caught reading an ebook while driving a bus.
Brent D’Argis frequently takes public transit, but he says he was shocked by what he saw during his bus ride on Thursday.
According to D’Argis, the bus was stopped at a red light on Saanich Road near Uptown Mall when he noticed a Kobo e-reader perched up beside the steering wheel.
“When we were stopped at the red light he was using it, reading a page of it and then right before the light went green he changed the page,” D’Argis said.
When it was brought up to the driver, D’Argis says he was “flabbergasted” by the response.
“His excuse was that transit drivers are exempt from the law,” D’Argis stated.
BC Transit confirmed with CTV News that they have launched an investigation into this week’s incident.
“As with any complaint we are following up with an internal investigation,” communications manager, Jonathon Dyck, said. “We expect all our drivers to follow the Motor Vehicle Act.”
Saanich police hand out hundreds of distracted tickets each year and are now investigating the claim against the transit operator.
“Studies have shown that it is extremely dangerous and I can tell you no text message or phone call is worth your, or someone else’s life,” Const. Damian Kowalewich said.
This isn’t the first time BC Transit drivers have been caught using handheld devices on the job.
In 2011, a Victoria transit operator was investigated for holding a cellphone at the wheel.
Earlier this month a Vancouver cab driver was suspended after a passenger recorded him playing a movie on his dashboard.
As for D'Argis, he hopes BC Transit takes the matter seriously because he wants to feel safe the next time he boards a bus.
“I ride the bus all the time and when you’re transporting upwards of 50 people on the bus, all it takes is one second to take your eyes off the road,” he said.