On June 5 a Greyhound passenger in the Canadian province of Alberta posted a video on YouTube showing his Greyhound bus driver toying with a mobile phone while cruising down a stretch of road. The ensuing reaction was vast and varied. While many viewers posted comments describing their horror at the driver’s reckless conduct, some were equally shocked by the video’s existence, questioning whether the use of social media to broadcast a complaint, albeit a serious one, was an appropriate reaction.

Since the incident, an investigation has reportedly been launched into the bus driver in question.
Although many countries and states have already passed laws prohibiting or limiting the use of devices such as mobile phones while operating a motor vehicle, Alberta seems to be a little behind the curve.

The province’s very own “Distracted Driving Legislation”, which makes it illegal to use a wide array of electronics while conducting almost anything with wheels, doesn’t come into effect until September 1.

And while Alberta’s added security measure may actually make its roads safer, there’s at least one Greyhound bus driver for whom that long stretch of road just got a little bit longer.
Video published on You Tube by DavidSabine on June 5.

“Nobody should have to remind a professional driver about the dangers of using a camera or phone while driving”

David Sabine is a music instructor at Keyano College in Canada’s province of Alberta. He filmed his Greyhound bus driver’s reckless conduct on a trip home to Fort McMurray, in Alberta.
I wasn’t going to post this video online because I thought I should speak directly to the driver. But I felt uncomfortable to confront him on the bus — I mean, nobody should have to remind a professional driver about the dangers of using a camera or phone while driving — so I decided I’d go home then call the station to talk with him privately over the phone.

When I called the station and asked to speak with the driver directly the receptionist was completely uncooperative.

Then she hung up on me! When I redialed (about a dozen times), she put me on hold, hung up again, and eventually blocked my number somehow (I would just get a busy signal).

[Twenty] minutes later I got through again and she said, "My manager told me to hang up on you'. Then she put me on the phone with her manager."

After explaining to the station manager, Keith, that I wanted to speak to the driver about this private matter, he gave me the same runaround and then hung up on me.

I felt that I should and could keep it between the driver and myself. Like, 'hey, I got nervous on your bus and I don’t think you should be messing with your phone while you’ve got my life in your hands'. That sort of statement, made privately between two respectful adults, can make a world of change and nobody would get hurt [or] fired.

However, after being treated this way by the staff at the station and considering the recent fatality in B.C. [British Columbia] involving a Greyhound bus, I should think the company would want to be diligent and careful that their employees are taking every possible precaution.

So, about the video: I recorded just a few minutes but I watched this for at least 10 minutes before getting my camera ready. Prior to that I was asleep so I don’t know how long or how often the driver was messing with his phone throughout the trip. I became very anxious a few times while on single-lane highway but I started the video only after we hit the 4-lane divided highway just south of Fort McMurray. In the time that I observed him he read txt messages, flipped through photos, flipped through the settings and configuration of his camera, and snapped a dozen or so pictures of the sunrise out the East window — gently swerving over the lines the entire time".
Post written with FRANCE 24 journalist Rachel Holman.