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Risking arrest for doing their jobs

Kris LaGrange's picture
Jun 14, 2015

MTA bus drivers, members of TWU Local 100 say they are being treated unfairly under Mayor Bill de Blasio's Vision Zero plan to reduce traffic deaths. The United Federation of Teachers, DC-37 and bunch of other unions joined the Transport Workers Union in signing a letter to the City Council asking them to reconsider legislation that places bus operators in police custody after accidents, even if they followed orders and exercised "due care" in performing their sometimes almost impossible work duties.

The letter says Mayor de Blasio wants bus drivers treated just like drivers of personal cars even though Local 100 bus drivers work under much different conditions. The letter states, "They are the only class of worker that is forced into pedestrian rights of way thousands of times every day. No other driver operates under these circumstances, and in such a flawed system."

Included in the letter are a number of common sense recommendations to the MTA such as altering bus routes to limit left turns, changing traffic signals to keep pedestrians out of crosswalks during turns, and redesigning mirror placement on buses to reduce blind spots.

The mayor's office responded: "Everyone in this city – whether they work for the city, work for the MTA, or are a private individual – must drive safely, yield to pedestrians, and respect that there are new laws now that clearly penalize those who do not yield to pedestrians."

UCOMM would like to point out that de Blasio has never operated a bus.  Check out UCOMM Radio Show #192: Bus Drivers 'Due Care' Show to get the story behind the story and click here for NY1's coverage of this important issue.

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