DEPEW, N.Y. (WIVB) — An experienced driver with a local school bus company could be fired for a major traffic violation caught on camera.
But the owner of the WNY Bus Company says he will fully investigate the matter before taking any action beyond the five-day suspension he’s already handed out.
David Pace was heading home from work Monday afternoon, with a GoPro camera on his dashboard rolling.
“I normally video my rides to and from work, just in case something happens,” Pace said.
Something did, and he says, it was jaw dropping.
A school bus, whose driver was clearly sick of waiting along Transit Road near Walden Avenue, crossed the double yellow line and drove the wrong way to get ahead of a line of traffic in the left lane.
“As I’m sitting there, I start hearing a diesel (engine), and it sounds like it’s coming right up in back of me,” Pace said. “And all the sudden, I see the yellow bus, just a blur on my left side, and I’m just sitting there with my mouth open, like, ‘What are you doing?'”
That’s exactly the question Gary Yuzbasheb had for his driver when he opened the email from Pace Tuesday morning.
As the owner of the WNY Bus Co., Yuzbasheb said he’s actually thankful cameras were rolling.
“It’s very helpful. If it wasn’t for that, we would never know,” he said.
Yuzbasheb says his driver told him he thought there was an accident ahead of him, that other cars were doing the same and that both lanes were blocked.
But according to Pace’s dash cam, none of that is true.
The bus driver, who had just finished his route with Cheektowaga schools, is the only one who can be seen driving the wrong way on Transit Road. There’s no one in the other lane, and Pace says there was no accident.
“It shouldn’t be done. As a person that holds a CDL, it should not be done at all,” Pace said. “Because you’re not just endangering your own life, you’re endangering anybody that’s oncoming to you, and the passangers that are in the cars next to you.”
Yuzbasheb suspended his driver, a man he says has experience and a clean record, who’s now full of remorse.
“Very apologetic. He felt very bad. Like I said, this is not an excuse,” Yuzbasheb said. “He just said he wished he’d never done that. But that time, he thought it was OK, I guess.
“He crossed the double line, of course, and he understands this was not a correct way of doing it. But he did it, he apologized and as of right now, he’s suspended.”
A representative of Cheektowaga schools said the empty bus had just come from dropping off students who attend after-school activities. The district is looking into the incident, but they’ll be leaving the final decisions regarding this driver’s future employment up to the bus company.