Coast Mountain Bus has launched an investigation into a video posted on YouTube Tuesday that shows a Surrey bus driver doing a Sudoku puzzle while driving along the Fraser Highway.
Gordon McDonald told Metro Vancouver that he used his cellphone to record the driver on Monday evening aboard the Willowbrook bus that goes to Langley from King George Station.
“I was only on the bus for 10 blocks or so, and he was playing it pretty much from the time we got on the Fraser Highway to 152nd Street,” said McDonald. “It was just totally inappropriate for him to be doing that.”
McDonald claimed he was on the same bus the previous Monday, and the same driver was reading a magazine while negotiating through “start-and-stop traffic” on a rain-soaked road.
“It just really irritated me. If my grandson had been on that bus, I would have been having a shouting match with that bus driver,” said McDonald.
“This guy just seems to be oblivious to the fact that he’s responsible for 20 people on the bus and everyone else on the road.”
Derek Zabel, spokesperson for Coast Mountain Bus Company, since receiving a link to the video from Metro, officials have launched an investigation.
He said there are no explicit policies in place outlining what drivers can and can’t do behind the wheel, but that operators are trained to follow the law and should be using common sense.
“Our operator training is a six-week program and it’s all geared toward driving safely,” said Zabel. “Coast Mountain trains our drivers … to use observation skills in which they’d check their mirrors every six to eight seconds and to constantly scan. If you’re doing a Sudoku puzzle, you can’t be doing that.”
As for whether the driver could face discipline, Zabel said Coast Mountain keeps those matters private between the company and the employee.
“If the driver got into an accident, they would be open to charges,” he said. “We should be following the Motor Vehicle Act.”