The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority banned drivers from using their cell phones a day after one of their employees told police he was texting when his trolley rear-ended another trolley injuring about 50 people, the Boston Herald reported.
Since May of 2008 five trolley and train operators and 12 bus drivers were suspended, and one bus driver was fired over cell phone use, MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo told the Herald.
Drivers had been allowed to carry cell phones as long as they didn't use them while they were working. Violating that policy resulted in three-, 10- and 30-day suspensions, ending in termination, the Herald reported.
"Leave it in your car. Leave it in your bag. Leave it at home. But when you board a train or a bus to work, there’s no reason to have one,” MBTA General Manager Daniel A. Grabauskas told the newspaper. “If you’re caught with one, you will be fired.”
The 24-year-old operator of the moving trolley that crashed Friday, who was the most seriously injured, admitted to police that he was sending text messages to his girlfriend from his cell phone when the accident occurred, Grabauskas said.