Photo Shows DART Bus Driver Reading Book at Stoplight

DART uses photo posted online in distracted-driving warning

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    NEWSLETTERS

    This photo of a DART bus driver apparently reading while at a stoplight was posted online on Wednesday, DART says. (Published Friday, Apr 5, 2013)

    Dallas Area Rapid Transit is illustrating its warning against distracted driving with a photo of a bus driver who appears to be reading a book.

    The photo of a DART bus driver apparently reading while at a stoplight was posted online on Wednesday, the agency said.

    DART included the photo in a warning to all of its bus riders on Wednesday. Reading involves all three main types of distraction -- taking your eyes off the road, taking your hands off the wheel and taking your mind off what you are doing, the letter says.

    "It's ironic that now we have the opportunity to personalize it, if you will, by presenting to them the facts that one of our own operators did it and that's not what DART wants you doing out on the road," DART spokesman Mark Ball said.

    DART is trying to determine who the driver is. But it could take a while to identify the driver -- the agency has 1,100 bus operators and no one is coming forward.

    "We spend a lot of time telling our operators the public has phones, the public has cameras, you're being videotaped on our buses, being videotaped on our bus stops, our train stations, etc,, so we're monitoring you, and it behooves you to do the right thing," Ball said.

    However, DART said its drivers appear to be getting the message about distracted driving. Complaints from riders about drivers using cellphones have dropped more than 50 percent the past five years, DART said.

    Bus rider Larry Grace said he doesn't like the photo but isn't surprised. He said he will continue to ride the bus.

    "I've seen it numerous times and not only is it unsafe, but it's disrespectful and it's just bad for the public," he said.