A Metrobus driver has been suspended after social mediaÂ footage showedÂ him readingÂ a newspaper while driving Friday, according to the transit agency.
Myles Hill, the passenger who posted the video toÂ Twitter, said he spotted what looked like a newspaper in the bus driverâs hands Friday afternoon, shortlyÂ after boarding the F6Â in College Park about 2 p.m. At first, he couldnât believe what he was seeing, so he turned to a friend:
âI asked her, âis that bus driver reading the paper?â and she said âoh my gosh, yeah!’â Hill, a 20-year-old University of Maryland student, said Sunday. âHeâs focusing on the paper; he should be focusing on the roads.â
Metro spokesman Dan Stessel said the driver was promptly identifiedÂ andÂ placed on paid leaveÂ while Metro conducts an investigation. The incident occurred in the area of Annapolis Road, near the routeâs New Carrollton terminus â where Hill was headed for a transfer. Hill said the driver was so distracted the he nearly missed the stop.
Stessel declined to identify the driver Sunday, citing a policy regarding employee disciplinary matters.
âWe appreciate the rider who brought this safety concern to our attention,â he said. âWhat is shown in the video is obviously disturbing and completely unacceptable.â
While the driverâs name was unknown, the video did provideÂ clues into the source of his distraction. From a close-up of the 43-second clip, he appearedÂ beÂ concentratingÂ on page 20 ofÂ Fridayâs Express, part of a Redskins season preview package. Express is the the Washington Postâs free daily paper geared toward commuters. Reading the newspaper is encouraged, but not â under any circumstances â while driving, let alone while the bearing the extra burden of responsibility of public transit.
Stessel said that distracted driving violations can result in disciplinary measuresÂ âup to and including termination.â