Transit Windsor investigates video of driver using tablet at wheel
Video submitted by bus passenger, who says it was shot in Windsor-Detroit Tunnel on Thursday
Transit Windsor is investigating a video that allegedly shows one of its drivers using a tablet while driving a bus carrying passengers through the Windsor-Detroit Tunnel.
Passenger Ethan Mayers provided CBC News with the video he said he shot Thursday night. The 10-second video shows a driver resting a tablet on the steering wheel. The driver then uses the tablet while steering the bus before putting the device on the dashboard.
"When I looked up I noticed he was reading his iPad. We started going and he continued to read his iPad," Mayers said. "I’m not sure why, but instinct told me to turn my phone to photo mode and take a picture. Then I turned my phone to video mode."
Transit Windsor confirms the company has spoken with Mayers and is investigating the incident.
"I was completely shocked. I did not know what to think," said Mayers, who works as a consultant for the media website Deadline Detroit in Detroit. "I’ve never seen this before. My concern was to get out of the bus as quickly as possible."
Mayers said there was only one other passenger on the bus. He didn’t speak with the other person.
"We certainly exchanged some eye rolls. We didn’t know what to do," Mayers said. "Although I don’t condone this type of thing, it’s one thing to read a 140-character text message.
Mayers said he had "a very good conversation" with Transit Windsor on Friday morning. He said it lasted 45 minutes.
Mayers called the driver’s actions "terribly egregious."
"This doesn’t necessarily seem to be a systems issue," Mayers said. "This seems to be a terrible driver that made some terrible choices and decisions."
Ontario law states it is illegal for drivers to use hand-held cellphones, BlackBerrys and other electronic devices while behind the wheel.
Drivers could face fines of up to $500 if they're caught violating the ban.
CBC Windsor is waiting for more reaction from Transit Windsor officials.
Windsor Police said unless they can determine which half of the international crossing any driver is on while using one of the devices, it would be difficult to lay charges.
There is a complete texting-while-driving ban in Michigan and drivers in Detroit must use a hands-free device to make phone calls.
Earlier this week, the Michigan Legislature passed a bill that would ban cellphone use by new drivers.
Penny Williams is the General Manager of Transit Windsor. She would not confirm if the driver has been suspended or if he is still driving. She did tell CBC Windsor that "I can assure tunnel bus riders that issue has been dealt with."
Williams said the investigation is ongoing and management plans to have a meeting with the driver in question on Monday morning. She said in the past drivers have been suspended for using a cell phone while driving.
"Our major concern is safety of our passengers," Williams said.