After a bus driver was arrested for hitting a teenage girl on Friday, the MTA bus drivers union are bracing themselves for more arrests under Mayor de Blasio’s Vision Zero plan. The driver, Francisco de Jesus, may previously have been slapped with a ticket for non criminal traffic violation. But critics blame Vision Zero for the harsher charge.
In light of the arrest, and another charge brought against a driver in December, the head of the Transport Workers Union John Samuelson issued a new message warning drivers to be extra cautious:
“Do not move your bus until all is clear. If you do not make your schedule, so be it. If traffic backs up as you await the ability to make an unquestionably “safe” left turn, so be it. If the bosses are displeased, so be it.”
The bus drivers union is critical of the Mayor’s plan, which aims to eliminate traffic-related pedestrian deaths within 10 years, saying that the administration is unfairly targeting MTA workers during its crackdown. From the New York Daily News:
Samuelsen acknowledged that “no one is above the law” but faulted the new Vision Zero legislation.
“It is clear that the spirit of Vision Zero …did not envision the arrest of bus operators,” he said, noting an exemption was built into the law for those working for the city.
(Photo: Canadian Pacific)