Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Bus Ignores Oncoming Ambulance

From Marshall:
I've witnessed some pretty unsafe driving by Metrobus drivers, but what I saw Sept. 8 was the most dangerous thing I've witnessed on the road to date.

My fiance and I were headed inbound on Georgia Ave. at around 8:30 a.m., when we were stopped at a red light behind five or six cars at the intersection of Georgia and Rittenhouse.

We first heard and then saw an ambulance, lights and sirens blazing, headed in the opposite direction toward Silver Spring.

The light changed just as the ambulance became visible to me, but all the cars in the inbound lanes stayed put as there was really nowhere to go.

I assumed that the Metro bus stopped in front of the bus stop at Family Dollar also headed in the direction of Silver Spring would stay pulled over to let the ambulance pass.


The driver actually pulled out into traffic ahead of the ambulance in the right-hand lane, forcing the ambulance to swerve into the left-hand lane.

There are only two explanations I can come up with for why the bus driver did this:

1. He saw the ambulance and just didn't care.
2. He was so distracted that he didn't see the flashing lights in his mirrors or hear the very loud siren.

In either scenario, this person clearly shouldn't be allowed to be behind the wheel of a bus, but per WMATA's policy, I'm sure if anything happens, it'll be two weeks of paid administrative leave.

I don't know much about bus numbers or routes, but the number on the side of the bus was 5313, and the number on the LED display on the back was 71.

Other items:
Could Metro stations be prettier? (WaPo)
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