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CTA Bus Driver Caught On Camera Driving While Distracted By Eating

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Mai Martinez Mai Martinez
Mai Martinez co-anchors CBS 2 Chicago’s weekend evening newscasts and...
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CHICAGO (CBS) – A CTA bus driver whose hands should have been on the wheel instead had a cup in one hand and a spoon in the other.

A concerned passenger videotaped him eating an ice cream sundae while driving.

It happened along the CTA Fullerton route. CBS 2’s Mai Martinez caught up with that concerned passenger in this original report.

On a hot, sunny day, your CTA bus pulling up is a welcome sight. But not when the bus driver is eating and driving and then stretching out at a stop light before continuing to drive with only one hand on the wheel.

Risa Lopez captured the images on her iPad last Tuesday afternoon.

“The bus was jerking back and forth like hard brake, go a little bit. Hard brake, go a little bit,” said Lopez.

Lopez says she peeked around to see what was going on.

“I saw him eating a McDonald’s strawberry sundae, while he was driving,” said Lopez. “I said let me go ahead and record this because nobody is going to believe this.”

And she was right. Even with the video, it was hard for some riders to believe.

“I think that’s pretty irresponsible,” said CTA rider Josue Barrera.

The driver’s behavior even shocked some of his colleagues, including a CTA driver who asked us not to show her face.

“It is dangerous to be driving a bus like that,” said the driver. “You supposed to have your hands on the wheel at all times.”

“He’s not supposed to be driving this bus, eating food while you got people on the bus because your putting their life in danger as well as yourself.”

Riders agree.

“I don’t want to be going to band practice one day and ‘well I got into an accident because the CTA driver is munching while he should have been driving,’ ” said CTA rider Samantha Larson.

“They need to take not only their own safety into consideration, but also that of their passengers,” said Lopez.

In response to the incident, the CTA says: “The safety and security of customers and personnel is the No. 1 priority at CTA. Any reports of operators engaging in unsafe behavior that can be a distraction while operating a vehicle–such as eating, drinking or reading–are taken very seriously and will be investigated to the fullest extent.”

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