Smartphone videos catching transit workers often
With more smartphone videos surfacing of Ottawa bus drivers apparently breaking the law, it's becoming clear that the digital age is putting transit workers under scrutiny like never before.
OC Transpo said Tuesday it's investigating a newly-posted video of a bus driver talking on a cellphone while driving in August.
"I think it's important for people to see this because it's a safety issue," said Gerry Vlug, who uploaded the video to YouTube late on Monday. "It's not right, they're public employees doing a public job, hired by the public for the public and they should know they're in the public eye regardless."
OC Transpo general manager Alain Mercier issued a statement Tuesday saying drivers are trained and reminded constantly that it's illegal to "talk, text, type, dial or e-mail" while behind the wheel.
"Individuals who do not follow OC Transpo policies and provincial law face disciplinary measures, up to and including dismissal when warranted," he said in the statement.
The video, filmed from a passing vehicle on the Queensway in August, shows the driver with his phone pressed to his left ear for about 20 seconds.
It comes just says after a video showing an OC Transpo driver yelling at a disruptive passenger garnered national attention and launched an investigation of its own.
OC Transpo said the outcome of the investigation into the verbally abusive driver would be released to the union Thursday or Friday.
They said the driver has been on the job for 25 years, has a clean record and is a caring individial with a quiet personality.
History of transit workers' activity being filmed
Earlier this year a STO driver was caught doing paperwork while driving and a Toronto transit worker was filmed sleeping on the job - all on smartphones.
Ottawa's transit union president said care is always needed when looking at Internet videos.
"With technology advances of today, you can pretty well film something and cut and paste at will," said Garry Queale. "Unfortunately what's happened to our operator in the past week here, he's guilty before the investigation comes out."
Queale said the fact the drivers are at work has to come into consideration.
"The drivers' seating area is their work station - how would you like it if someone walked into your office and started filming you doing your job?" he said.
It's not all negative acts that are causing complants from bus riders.
A video surfaced earlier this year of an OC Transpo singing as he drove around the city.
After complaints from passengers, he was asked to stop.
With a report from CTV Ottawa's Vanessa Lee