CTA gets much tougher on distracted drivers, toughens policy on use of electronic devices

The CTA is cracking down much harder on bus and train operators who use an electronic devices while on the job, the transit agency announced Wednesday.

observed the use of these devices and agree that it is a distraction,"
said CTA President Richard L. Rodriguez. "From my conversations with
customers and feedback sent to the CTA, it is clear that there is a
genuine concern about the safety of using these items while driving.
Research data validates that driving distracted is unsafe. We are
taking these steps to reinforce our commitment to providing a safe
environment for customers, employees and the general public."

Thank you, President Rodriguez.

The new policy -- effective immediately -- accelerates the disciplinary process for any operator using or even displaying an electronic device while working. In the past, an employee could "accrue" up to four violations before being eligible for discharge. Now, mere possession of an electronic device will result in probation a three-day suspension. Use of the device on duty can result in termination of the employee.

"Electronic device" is defined broadly by the CTA as cellular phones, smartphones, personal digital assistants (PDAs), MP3/music players, wireless headsets or any other appliance or device.

You know what they say: if you see something, say something. To report an operator, call CTA Customer Service at 1-888-YOUR-CTA
(1-888-968-7282) weekdays from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. as soon as possible with information such as the
bus/train number, employee I.D., route and the date and time of the
incident. Riders also can send email here.

See the continuation for more details on the ban.
According to the CTA release:

On buses, use of a cellular phone while on duty only is permissible if a bus operator needs to notify the CTA Control Center of an incident and communication through the onboard Bus Emergency Communications System cannot be completed. In such an occurrence, the operator must properly curb the bus before placing the call to Control. At all other times, bus operators must have their personal devices turned off and properly stowed while on duty.

Possession and use of personal electronic devices by CTA rail operators and rail maintenance personnel who are on duty are prohibited. Rail operators and personnel are provided with CTA-issued radios and, when working in subways, are provided CTA cell phones to provide back-up communications to the Control Center.


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  • Good move.

    If a union driver is fired for this, can/will they do anything about it?

  • is this in response to the Boston T operator who drove into another train while texting his girlfriend?

    I'm just surprised that there were no bans before

  • In reply to flyball:

    redeye says there were, just they were given like 4 warnings

  • In reply to flyball:

    Banning even possession of a cell phone seems harsh, but it does seem like an L operator doesn't have a business reason to using it.

  • I turn mine off at work. It's just one less distraction.

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