Bus Driver Fired Over Video Showing Him Texting While Driving - NBC New York
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Bus Driver Fired Over Video Showing Him Texting While Driving

Chinatown Bus Driver Accused of Texting on Turnpike

A passenger on board the Yep Tours Chinatown bus captured video of the driver looking down at his phone while driving along the New Jersey Turnpike over the weekend. (Published Monday, June 29, 2015)

A bus driver found himself out of a job after video surfaced of him apparently using a smartphone while driving a busload of passengers along the New Jersey Turnpike.

Passengers boarded the bus at Focus Travel along N 11th Street in Philadelphia’s Chinatown neighborhood Saturday morning and headed toward New York. As the bus barreled along the turnpike at speeds exceeding 65 mph, the driver can be seen looking up and down from his device – using two hands on the phone at times – as it sits in the center of his steering wheel.

Delvan Bradford, 25, said he captured the video as the bus drove in the area of New Brunswick.

"We could've been either injured or killed," Bradford said.

Luckily, the passengers arrived safely in New York.

Texting while driving is illegal in New Jersey. Bradford claimed that the driver took out the phone shortly after bus crossed the Ben Franklin Bridge into New Jersey.

Though Focus Travel sold tickets for the bus, it was operated by Yep Tours, said Yep owner Jeremy Walker.

"We have a zero-tolerance policy for cellphones -- zero tolerance," said Walker, who viewed the video and confirmed that it appeared to be authentic.

Walker called the apparent texting unacceptable and he fired the driver.

Walker said the company has cameras on some of its buses -- though it wasn't clear if one was on the bus in question -- and he said they planned on installing more cameras to hopefully discourage incidents like this one.

Yep Tours has had 25 unsafe driving  violations in the past two years -- including one accident -- putting it in the bottom 2 percent of carriers. Walker argued the violations need to be considered in context of trip volume.

"We do about 36,000 trips in the past two years -- so 20 violations on a matter of 36,000 trips in two years -- it's a small number."