Health

Cameras Catch 67 Bus Drivers Sleeping on the Job in Washington D.C.

| by Michael Allen

67 Metrobus drivers were caught sleeping on camera while driving their buses during a 19-month period in Washington D.C., according to data obtained by The Washington Examiner.

The sleeping incidents happened while bus drivers were behind the wheel of their moving buses. The drivers were filmed with their eyes closed, nodding or sleeping between August 2010 through Feb. 24, 2012.

The cameras that caught the sleeping drivers constantly film drivers, but only keep recordings when the bus makes an unusual move, such as braking too hard or speeding up too quickly.

The cameras record and keep the eight seconds before the event that triggers it, and four seconds after.

The numbers represent a small fraction of the total number of drivers in D.C., but Mortimer Downey, the head of the Metro board's safety committee, told The Washington Examiner: "It's not happening on every route or every day, but if it is happening at all we've got to be concerned."

Most of  the drivers receive coaching after being caught on camera  sleeping, but one driver is faces disciplinary action, with a suspension, for falling asleep twice.

Metro has acknowledged that most of its facilities do not have rest or quiet rooms where bus drivers can rest during breaks.

Metro said in a statement: "Metrobus has instituted and focused on safety and fatigue awareness programs, and we continue to identify new initiatives that keep safety at the forefront of each and every action."