EXCLUSIVE: RIPTA bus driver caught on phone while driving - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

EXCLUSIVE: RIPTA bus driver caught on phone while driving

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By ABC 6 News Chief political reporter – Mark Curtis

mcurtis@abc6.com

RIPTA bus operators are supposed to drive the bus and that's it. But these days, cell phones are everywhere even in the hands of a bus driver.

A series of photos clearly show a RIPTA driver talking on his cell phone while driving the bus.

They were taken by a passenger who emailed them to ABC 6 News. Dennis who is a regular RIPTA rider did not want his face shown on camera said the driver was so distracted, he blew past his bus stop.

Dennis states, "He didn't stop, I was waiting at the bus stop. And the reason was, he was on the telephone. And he went to go by me and I almost had to jump in front of the bus."

Once onboard the number 87 bus in Woonsocket, Dennis decided to take photos of the driver who kept chatting on the cell.

It is not against the law to talk on a cell phone and drive in the State of Rhode Island, but this is less about legality and more about public safety.

Just last month another RIPTA driver crashed in Middletown, while on the phone.

RIPTA tells ABC 6 News that it's against transit agency policy for drivers to talk on the phone while driving.

RIPTA is now reviewing the photos, and has launched an internal investigation.

The RIPTA driver in the Middletown crash was suspended pending the investigation.

It's not certain yet if any action has been taken against this latest driver caught on camera on his cell phone, while driving the bus.

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