Gesundheit, Newton!

The Globe reports the driver of that ill-fated 57 bus told investigators she was in the middle of a bad sneezing fit when she nearly plunged the vehicle onto the turnpike, but that her story is kinda contradicted by surveillance video from the bus, which apparently shows her with her cell phone in her hand and which is one of the reasons she is now facing criminal charges in Newton District Court.

The following, from the Globe report, is the best sentence any Globe reporter will write this week:

The cause of the crash, she told investigators, was her struggle with her nose.

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    Happens to me all the time!

    By on

    I'm driving along an overpass, have a sneezing fit, and next thing I know I'm wedged into the chain link fence and hanging over the Pike.

    I hear there's a lot of sneezing on Storrow Drive in September, too.

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    According to the Herald

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    "Shaw, who was removed from service Sunday but not officially suspended, has been found responsible for three surchargeable accidents since 1994, the most recent in Dorchester in April, according to RMV records. From 1994 to 2008, she also racked up 10 moving violations."

    Wow

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    This is by far the worst pun

    By on

    This is by far the worst pun I've ever seen. Not in the "so bad it's funny" type of way, but more like the "I can't believe this person isn't 8 years old" type of way

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    Also

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    "The MBTA acknowledged yesterday that the driver never informed her supervisors her license had been yanked in December 1997 due to her failure to pay fines for three moving violations. It was reinstated in June 1998, according to RMV records."

    She drove an MBTA bus with a suspended license for 6 months!

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    Good grief.

    By on

    I hope that this has been fixed since that time because the MBTA should not even have to seek this information (and sure as hell should not have to rely on its employees to provide such information). It should be automatically transmitted to the T by the RMV (you know, now that DOT is all under one roof and allegedly has oversight of the T as well).

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    Bunkers and Silos

    MA government is bunkers and silos all the way down.

    A friend of mine, whose mother lived and died in MA, says that his father is still using her disability placard a couple of years after her death. When my father died, I rather quickly (<2 weeks) got a notice from the state where he resided that I had to turn his disability placard into the DMV within a month of his death or face legal consequences (I actually did not know that he had a placard). That's because a death certificate triggered a report to the DMV, which acted to claim the placard.

    So sharing data in such a way isn't impossible - it just isn't done in MA, even within agencies.

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    The silos should have eliminated in 2009.

    By on

    Understood that there are places that are better at this, but my point was that since the transport re-org in 2009, this should not even be a question of sharing . This would all happen under the same roof - that of MassDOT. That should considerably lessen (i.e. totally remove) any barriers.

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    Renaming the departments

    By on

    Renaming the departments doesn't magically integrate their computer systems.

    There don't seem to be any Bunkers and Silos

    By on

    Between the RMV and local municipalities, when it comes to excise tax and unpaid parking tickets. Miss a few of those with any town in the Commonwealth, then go and try to renew your license or registration. You'll find that their data transfer is flawless, when they want it to be.

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    I've heard several stories of

    By on

    I've heard several stories of people not getting their excise tax bills, because the RMV never told the towns about an address change.

    A few years back

    By on

    They caught about 100 employees who lied about having their GEDs.

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    Ah, yes, the driver sneeze.

    By on

    I usually worry about this in the context of an MBTA bus driver (or, really, any other driver) wiping me out when I'm on my bike.

    I don't usually worry about it nearly taking me on a plunge off of an overpass onto an interstate highway.

    Sheesh.

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    More From The Story ...

    By on

    The affidavit said there was

    The affidavit said there was an item in her other hand as well, though it is unclear what that item was.

    AND SHE WAS STEERING THE BUS WITH WHAT?? HER KNEES??

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    Nope

    It is pretty damn clear that she wasn't steering the bus at all!

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    No Kidding

    I really want to see the surveillance video for this crash. Hope it's released soon. Some of the passengers must have seen something, too.

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    Speaking of stupid pills...

    By on

    ...she wasn't aware of the 8 security cameras all over the bus? Not like they're that hidden or anything.

    Stupidity on multiple levels.

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    Can't we get some talent from

    By on

    Can't we get some talent from Google over in Cambridge to deliver the MBTA self driving buses already? Fare evasion can be tackled by their data-mining/facial recognition/killer drone war-bots too. Team up with iRobot for constant cleaning of vehicles and stations and we have a world class efficient automated transit system.

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    Nosy people

    By on

    She was steering the bus with her nose, obviously. You trying steering a bus with your nose while suffering from an allergy attack! I bet you'd be quite a wheeze off course.

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    Unbelievable

    Even her made-up story is frightening and highly incriminating. She needs to work on her lying if she wants to continue her career at the MBTA.

    Shaw, who was not wearing a seatbelt, said that she tried to apply the brakes but was “unable to do so, and the bus continued to turn to the left.” She said “she fell to the floor of the bus, and the bus continued over the sidewalk and collided with the guard rail,” the report said.

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    No

    By on

    Ever thought about hiring based on prior experience instead? We're talking about driving a bus full of people, not delivering pallets of toilet paper to a local CVS - safety should be paramount. Put in some reasonable minimum requirements (i.e. minimum five year experience driving large commercial vehicle) to reduce the applicant pool to a more manageable size and lottery is no longer needed.

    Agreed

    By on

    I agree - I drove a bread delivery truck for a few years and they did a full driving check on me, and even made me drive around with a supervisor to be sure that I could handle a moderately-sized delivery vehicle (about half the size of a MBTA bus). This was for driving around soft loaves of bread that would probably still be fine even if I totaled the truck! We are talking about the safe transport of unsecured human beings, and possibly a lot of them. One other suggestion I thought of was a nice digital readout behind the driver's seat that shows the speed that the bus is traveling at - I wonder how many drivers would slow up a bit if they had that there? Maybe none, but then if someone wanted to make a complaint about speed it wouldn't simply be a subjective kind of "it felt like we were going too fast" to which a driver much like this one would probably just claim that they were going the exact speed limit. I think these drivers need a bit more accountability, and checks on it rather than a naïve assumption that they will go ahead and self-report a suspended license and 2 accidents a year to their supervisors.