A passenger on a sightseeing tour in New York recorded a bus operator watching videos on his cell phone while driving on a highway.
Passenger Barry Fisk used his cell phone to take footage of the operator who appeared to be viewing television programs on his cell phone while driving to Woodbury Commons in Orange County.
Fisk told WABC-TV that the Tour America bus departed Manhattan around 8:30 a.m. on Monday when the unidentified driver began checking his phone.
“If you look at the video, if you look for the screen, you could see that he was going over the line marker,” Fisk told the Washington Post. “The vehicle was actually going from left to right, left to right.” He added that the bus was full and that it had been raining heavily during the ride.
“I wanted to stop it,” said Fisk, whose wife told him the driver’s actions made her uneasy but urged her husband not to address the man.
“If you do, it might make it worse,” Fisk recalled telling his wife. “You might make him crash if you get him to stop while driving.”
Get Your Guide is the company that booked the tour, a platform that provides bus trips and other excursions. A spokesman told WABC that it had fired the driver and also offered an apology and a refund to the passenger and his wife.
“We’re keenly aware of our responsibility for the safety of each and every activity offered on our platform,” the spokesperson said in a statement.
“We thoroughly vet all activities submitted to our marketplace before approval to ensure each and every one is amazing and safe. We require all of our suppliers to be properly insured and to follow all relevant local laws and regulations, and our team performs regular checks of products offered on our site to ensure our standards of quality are continuously upheld. We’re confident the operator they will take all steps necessary to ensure this doesn’t happen again.”
It is illegal for all drivers to text and drive in New York and New Jersey, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. In New Jersey, it is also against the law for school bus drivers, those with a learner’s permit and intermediate license holders to operate a vehicle while using a cell phone.