An audit found RTD is not appropriately punishing drivers caught texting(Photo: KUSA)
KUSA - A state audit has identified 19 RTD drivers who were
looking at their electronic devices instead of the road in front of them.
RTD bus drivers are supposed to keep their cell phones and other mobile devices out of sight and out of reach. They are forbidden from using the devices while behind the wheel, and they could get fired immediately for violating the policy.
Auditors reviewed video clips from on-bus recording systems, which monitor sharp movements and sudden starts and stops. According to the state report, there were 19 incidents of drivers breaking electronic device rules during a five-month period in 2015.
The 16 drivers who were disciplined at the time of the audit were not fired. The report said they received suspensions, which varied from three days to 20 days, despite similar violations. Auditors are calling those drivers' punishments "inconsistent" and "insufficient."
"We know that this is a safety issue of primary concern to RTD, and we completely agreed with and appreciate what the state audit team found on this," said RTD spokesman Scott Reed. "We agree with their recommendations, so we are making changes and have already made several."
RTD says those changes will include standardizing discipline for drivers' electronic device usage and formally noting whether device usage contributed to accidents.
RTD officials say riders can also report bus and light rail operators who are improperly using mobile devices. Mass transit users can download RTD's Transit Watch app to report concerns and suspicious activities and to get alerts and safety information.
(© 2015 KUSA)