A bus driver? Responsible for hundreds of lives? Bus drivers can carry about 50 people on the average city bus, and when you consider all they do all day is drive up and down their route, picking up and dropping off passengers, even if they just drive up and down their route once, they could have already transported a 100 people.
Though the real issue here that the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) employee – the public transit service in the city of Toronto, Canada – was drunk on the job, or at least had enough alcohol in her system that police seized her license.
Last Friday a passenger on the bus called 9-1-1 complaining that the driver was all over the road. Police stopped the bus in the city’s east-end and had the driver take a breathalyzer – she blew between .05 and .08. That’s not high enough for an impaired driving charge, but is enough to warrant a 72-hour driving suspension due to her blood alcohol level.
The 40-year-old driver is currently on suspension without pay pending investigations by both the TTC and her union.
Drinking and driving is not acceptable under any circumstances for anyone period. But when a city employee who interacts with and is responsible for the lives of numerous public lives is caught drunk on the job, it is far worse.
Not only did this bus driver potentially endanger the lives of her passengers, she put the lives of other drivers, their passengers, and pedestrians on the sidewalks around her vehicle at grave risk.
A city bus isn’t a Tonka Toy – have you ever seen one in an accident?
When a bus collides with a car usually the car is crushed like a tin can, while there is barely a scratch on the bus – even at low speeds. Buses are massive solid metal rolling structures. Driving one takes special training, and requires a special license in most metropolitan areas around the globe.
Although buses tend to be slow moving vehicles, if one gets out of control, it could wreak havoc – killing innocent people on the sidewalk, on the bus, or in other vehicles.
Not to mention that a city’s bus drivers are often the first and only contact visitors to a city have with city employees – having one driving drunk all over the road certainly doesn’t give Canada’s largest city the best public image.
The TTC should have – if they don’t already – a zero tolerance policy for being under the influence of non-prescribed drugs or alcohol while working. Anyone found to be working a regularly scheduled shift while drunk or drugged should be immediately fired, without hesitation.
Anything less is irresponsible for the safety and well being of the public, and the image of the city.