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Greyhound’s Distracted Driving Policy

Greyhound has a written policy prohibiting bus operators from using cell phones while operating a bus. However, the company does not enforce the policy. In one case, the evidence confirmed that a Greyhound driver and his bus was unable to be located for several hours.  The passengers at the terminal in Philadelphia waited over four hours, through the middle of the night, for this very late bus to arrive. Multiple Greyhound employees attempted to reach the driver. While these employees gave inconsistent answers in their depositions related to what a bus driver should do when his cell phone is ringing and he can see it is a supervisor calling.  The only thing that was clear was that none of the Greyhound employees who testified had any idea of the requirements under this “policy.”

In the Cincinnati Greyhound bus crash that recently occurred on September 14, 2013, passengers saw the bus driver speaking on his cell phone, while operating his bus, before this crash occurred.  A colleague of mine recently obtained evidence that the operator of a Greyhound bus involved in a 2007 crash in Texas was engaged in seventeen cell phone calls while operating his bus in inclement weather.

Technology is available that can allow Greyhound to prevent its drivers from using cell phones in a bus while it is moving.  This technology can disable a cell phone after detecting motion. Further, if Greyhound management intended to prevent their drivers from using their cell phones while operating their buses, random audits of cell phone bills would easily indicate whether the phone was in use while the driver was operating a Greyhound bus.

The fact that Greyhound purports to have a distracted driving bus policy makes it clear that Greyhound recognizes that this is dangerous. An unenforced policy is of little use. Greyhound must expend the resources, manpower and technology necessary to enforce a policy it believes to be important to the safety of its passengers and others on the roadway. This policy will prevent distracted Greyhound bus drivers and keep them more alert.

Few situations are more terrifying than that of a passenger in a 20-ton bus with no driver controlling the bus. Before Greyhound Bus Company packs another one of its buses with up to 52 passengers; it owes its passengers a commitment to safety. If Greyhound were to enforce the above policies, it could put the brakes on the majority of its crashes.

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