Report: T bus driver to be cited for Newton Corner crash

WHDH reports, adds authorities are looking at whether she was on her cell phone at the time of the crash, which sent eight people, including her, to the hospital.

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Inconceivable!

That's against the rules. I expect Billy Tulip to be calling for her execution any minute now.

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Not only is that likely

Not only is that likely against MBTA rules, it's probably also against the law.

If it turns out to be the case that the driver WAS on a cellphone, union leadership should come out in unanimous support for terminating this employee.

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Its not against the law for

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Its not against the law for people to use their cell phones while driving, unfortunately, although it may be for commercial drivers. The MA legislature had a proposal to at least go the route of NH in only allowing hands free, but Senate President Murray felt the deaths and injuries from distracted driving were worth the convenience of drivers.

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CDL holders are prohibited from using cell phones

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Effective January 3, 2012, new Federal regulations (76 FR 75470, amending 49 CFR Parts 177, 383, 384, 390, 391, and 392) prohibit most use of hand-held phones by commercial motor vehicle drivers. In Massachusetts, regulations of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration are "incorporated by reference as the regulations of the Registry of Motor Vehicles" under 540 CMR 14.03.

http://masslawlib.blogspot.com/2012/01/use-of-hand-held-mobile-phones-by...

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Research

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Perhaps she was familiar with the research that shows that using a phone hands free is just as dangerous as holding it. The danger comes not from holding the phone, which is a minimal issue, but rather the distraction of the conversation itself. Several research studies have shown this, however many states continue to push the hands free bandwagon because they know how unpopular a total ban would be.

It's feel good legislation, no more.

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Wrong

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Not only is cellphone use by drivers of buses, trains, and the like against MBTA policy, it's also against state law.

Chapter 90, Section 12A of the Mass. General Laws reads:

Section 12A. (a) No operator of a vehicle or vessel used in public transportation, including a train, passenger bus, school bus or other vehicle used to transport pupils, passenger ferry boat, water shuttle or other equipment used in public transportation owned by, or operated under the authority of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, the Woods Hole, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket Steamship Authority, Massachusetts Port Authority, or the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, shall use a mobile telephone, hands-free mobile telephone or other mobile electronic device while operating such vehicle or vessel; provided, however that this section shall not apply to the operator of a vehicle or vessel used in public transportation using a mobile telephone, hands-free mobile telephone or mobile electronic device in the performance of the operator’s official duties; provided, however, that in order for the use of any such device to be made “in the performance of the operator’s official duties,” such use must have been made in conformance with applicable written guidelines issued by a public entity listed in this paragraph relative to circumstances when operators are permitted to use said devices in the performance of their official duties or pursuant to directives from federal authorities having regulatory jurisdiction over such public entity’s operations.

Whoever violates this section shall be punished by a fine of $500. A violation of this section shall not be a moving violation for purposes of the safe driver insurance plan under section 113B of chapter 175.

(b) It shall be an affirmative defense for an operator under this section to produce evidence that the use of a mobile telephone that is the basis of the alleged violation was in the case of an emergency. For the purpose of this paragraph, an emergency shall mean that the operator needed to communicate with another to report any of the following: (1) that the vehicle or vessel was disabled; (2) that medical attention or assistance was required on the vehicle or vessel; (3) that police intervention, fire department or other emergency services was necessary for the personal safety of a passenger or to otherwise ensure the safety of the passengers; or (4) that a disabled vehicle or an accident was present on a roadway.

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Your both wrong

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Never use logic when speaking about the T, The Transit Police are about to be exposed on an I-Team report about bus accident investigations so they dropped the hammer on this bus driver.

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HAHAHA

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Thats the funniest thing iv read in awhile....

union leadership......come out......support for terminating this employee.

Bbbhahahah

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Are you serious, or are you just being snarky, anon?

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If you're being snarky, this whole situation isn't any laughing or even a joking matter. This woman has a long record of driving violations, not to mention afew suspensions, and she probably should get canned, especially if she was using her cell-phone while driving. Jail time for a term for the charges of reckless endangerment should be suffice for this woman.

If, on the other hand, you're serious, there really is nothing funny about the union's necessity to fire this woman. She's obstructed justice, had several suspensions and other violations, and is not fit to hold her job as an MBTA bus driver.

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It is

Not only is that likely against MBTA rules

After the Aiden Quinn debacle, *all* MBTA operators were required to leave their cell phones in their lockers before starting their schedule. Light rail, heavy rail, commuter rail, bus. Everyone.

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Newton Gateway plaza is a mess

Since I am forced to commute through that area every day to work, I can't believe anyone would try using their phone there. It's a gross traffic hell, and the crowne plaza building should be demolished so a proper rotary can get put in, or at least a more logical traffic flow.

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Forced

I don't know the particulars of your commute.

That said, the insane spaghetti that is Boston area roads usually provides alternatives to any given route. They may not be good alternatives, but there are usually options to make life saner.

You might try taking your start and finish locations and asking Google to plot a course for you - except you select the cycling icon instead of the car icon. Over the years, first with special cycling maps and now with da Google, I have found less stressful (if longer or stranger) routes for driving through congested areas by using my bike navigation skills/apps.

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pretty much

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I live near this traffic circle, and can certainly attest to how many people really do have to go through it in order to get on the highway or on the other side of it. The way it is designed, you have to change lanes more times than Bowser does on Toad's Turnpike. I've often been afraid of being in an accident while going through it on the express buses.

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newton corner/crazy traffic

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this has to be one of the most clusterf'ed intersections in the state. if you don't know where you are going you are screwed. none of the lanes are marked so in many situations its kill or be killed . my gf had an accident here once and newton pd told her it was a waste of time to fight over whose fault it was because none of the lanes are marked making it impossible to say who is at fault! I found, when I commuted thru there everyday, the best bet was to put the pedal to the medal and do my best to make it through alive!

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What's really nasty

is the movement to get from the eastbound Pike onto northbound Center Street, going towards Watertown Sq. Get off the pike, merge onto heavy traffic in the "rotary", cut almost all the way left in maybe 750ft., yield to traffic merging from the right and then cut all the way right in maybe 200ft. Dangerous as all hell.

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I used to live on Morse St

and I'm agree.

I found (as a previous commenter mentioned) that going as fast as possible helped a little, and came to feel safer even if it seemed counterintuitive.

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When I lived in Watertown,

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When I lived in Watertown, and I had someone from out of state visit (coming from the west), I suggested that they ignore what GPS and Google Maps might say, and to take 95 to Trapelo rather than try to go through there.

That maneuver used to be a usual part of my commute (I normally aim for St James St these days when I go through there). It takes skill, practice, and no small amount of aggressiveness to get through there, and despite enough of all three, it's still the only place where I've gotten in an accident (not my fault).

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Does anyone else..

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Does anyone else refer to the mess of pavement as "the circle of death"? I was surprised no one brought it up in the comments yet.

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Yep

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My previous commute involved the 57 from Brighton and the 558 from Watertown. Both buses whipped around that "rotary" WWWAAAYYYYY to fast, and one 558 driver told me that barely a day went by without a fender bender occurring on the eastbound side of that whole mess. Certainly not a week went by without me seeing one. It's probably because I had that job for 4 months that I wasn't personally involved in one!

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