Texting and driving bus drivers suspended

May 2, 2011 at 7:30 PM

TORONTO, May 2 (UPI) -- The Toronto Transit Commission said it suspended 27 drivers for using cellphones, listening to iPods and reading behind the wheel.

The commission investigated 70 cases during a winter crackdown prompted by complaints from exasperated customers who said they were tired of operators texting, eating on the job and driving while distracted, The (Toronto) Star reported Monday.

Twenty-seven drivers were suspended from their jobs during February and the first week in March, and all but one were returned to duty with their records wiped clean and lost wages restored. There was a "final notice letter" put in each personnel file indicating a further offense would result in termination.

The TTC came under fire in January when many smartphone photographs of bus operators texting behind the wheel were taken and circulated online and in newspapers.

One bus passenger said when he spoke up to the driver who was talking on his cellphone while steering the vehicle, the operator told him to "shut up and sit down" or he would put the bus out of service, The Star said.

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