Last year, the Boston Herald reported that many MBTA bus drivers were allowed behind the wheel even though they had driver’s records scarred with car accidents and other scrapes with traffic laws.
More concerning news came last week when it was reported that a T bus driver who had been allowed to keep her job even though she had been in an accident with her own car and had previously had her license suspended was criminally charged after running into a meter maid with her bus.
According to officials, the 34-year-old bus driver was involved in a 2010 car accident in which she was at least 50 percent at fault, but the T never learned of the incident. According to a T spokesman, MBTA officials are only alerted when there is a change in an employee’s license status, not when the driver is involved in an accident with a personal vehicle.
However, the spokesman admitted that T officials should have been made aware when the bus driver’s license was suspended from November 2006 to March 2007 after she failed to complete a required driver’s safety course. Even without the license, the bus driver kept driving T customers.
The spokesman said that something like this is “can’t happen again” since MassDOT was created in 2009 and the MBTA is now provided with regular reports from the Registry of Motor Vehicles informing officials if an employee’s driver’s license has been suspended or revoked.
Even though the bus driver avoided getting in trouble for the accident or the driver’s license suspension, it is likely that she will have to face consequences this time after allegedly running into a meter maid with a MBTA bus last week. The driver was charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and operating to endanger.
A police report claims that the driver was upset with the meter maid for writing her a ticket for idling her bus in a no-stopping zone and was “deliberate and intentional” when she drove the bus into the meter maid and nearly ripped the door off the meter maid’s van.
The T spokesman vowed that the bus driver would face consequences this time around, and she has been put on paid leave. Even so, it is likely that the bus driver and MBTA could face a personal injury lawsuit in the wake of this incident.
Source: Boston Herald, “Bus driver’s past crash OK by MBTA,” Matt Stout and Dave Wedge, Aug. 11, 2012