VIA bus drivers caught on camera running red lights

VIA's own camera system catches drivers in the act

Author: April Molina, Investigative Reporter, amolina@ksat.com
Published On: Nov 20 2012 06:23:47 PM CST   Updated On: Nov 20 2012 06:39:34 PM CST
Via drivers
SAN ANTONIO -

The driver of a VIA bus full of passengers runs a red light and it was all caught on camera -- specifically, VIA's own surveillance cameras.

"We're not perfect and we know that, so as a result, we have the most robust monitoring system of our operators of any transit system in the country," said VIA Chief Operating Officer Keith Hom.

Reviewing VIA video, the Defenders saw another example of less-than-perfect driving: a driver rolling through a stop sign while making a right turn.

It was followed by two more drivers running stop signs, one of which did so after cruising by flashing yellow lights that warn of the sign ahead.

The most alarming video showed a bus that stopped at a red light, then started moving through the intersection while the light was still red as people were crossing the street. Toward the end of that video, they started jogging to avoid being hit by the bus.

"Those situations that involved pedestrians, in particular, are really frowned upon and not tolerated," Hom said.

According to VIA, red light runners usually lose a day's pay -- sometimes two -- but they can be suspended or fired, depending on the severity of the situation.

"We're going to continue to hammer away at some of the issues and one of the issues is traffic violations," Hom said.

Last year, 60 VIA employees were disciplined for red light violations, but Hom pointed out there were very few repeat offenders.

He also noted preventable accidents went down 20 percent from 2009 to 2011.