Cities for People Transport You Couldn't Make It Up

“City Bus Drivers Protest Vision Zero Law By Driving More Carefully”

No, it’s not the Onion or Waterford Whispers, or even the Donegal Dollop, yes, these NYC bus drivers are protesting that they are not being allowed to squish pedestrians (and, we can presume, other vulnerable road users) with impunity if they simply don’t see them, and they are protesting by being extra careful. Apparently, this is a terrible thing for traffic. On the other hand, I’m guessing it’s brilliant for those not injured or killed.

At least six MTA bus drivers have been charged under a year-old law that punishes drivers for fatally striking or wounding pedestrians who have the right of way. The union that represents the vast majority of MTA bus drivers, TWU Local 100, wants to exempt their members from the law. To prove that placing safety before punctuality just isn’t realistic under current New York City traffic conditions, bus drivers exercised their power this morning by driving with an excess of caution in Inwood and the Bronx.According to a TWU release, drivers at White Plains Road at Lafayette Ave and at 181st Street and Wadsworth Avenue were told to “come to a complete stop – and not move – until all pedestrians were on the sidewalk. Not close to the curb but completely off the street.”

[..] the TWU is fighting for the passage of a law that would exempt bus drivers from prosecution under the Right of Way law unless there is tangible proof of negligence—such as a positive Breathalyzer reading or evidence that the driver was texting.

Drivers who simply don’t see a pedestrian before striking them would be exempt from prosecution.

Yesterday, Mayor de Blasio was asked about the bill. “We’re not going to weaken laws that protect people’s lives,” he replied. “I’m very proud of the fact that we have driven down traffic fatalities; we’ve driven down pedestrian deaths. Last year, in New York City—the fewest pedestrian deaths since 1910 – over a century.”

Yes, you read that right. Really, you couldn’t make it up.

Source: City Bus Drivers Protest Vision Zero Law By Driving More Carefully: Gothamist