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Making Waves

Bus Drivers

By John Christie

As a "Junior Senior" now, I believe I am aware of my driving limitations. I know that a tired motorist is just as lethal as one who is otherwise impaired, and I pull over when fatigue sets in. A fifteen or twenty minute power nap usually works. I have that luxury of taking a break now, in retirement, but I wasn't always able to. I put in twenty-two years as a professional driver, most of it behind the wheel of big buses. In that line of work, you CAN'T stop and sleep when you feel the need. And I put in my share of twelve-hour grunts. That's why I encourage the Amalgamated Transit Union local 1624, based in Toronto, to keep the pressure on the Federal Government. The ATU want the hours of work rules changed, to limit daily driving time to ten hours, and total duty time to 13. Rest between shifts would increase to ten hours from the present eight. Currently, a motorcoach operator can drive up to 13 hours a day, and up to 16 hours per shift with only eight hours rest between. There are logistical challenges involved. But overall...it's time for a change, for the health and safety of bus drivers, AND their passengers. It should extend to taxi, limo, and Uber drivers too. And not just on the highways, but in towns and cities.


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