MARTA train operator suspended for text messaging while transporting passengers.
Atlanta, GA(JusticeNewsFlash.com)–The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) http://www.itsmarta.com/ issued a three-day suspension, without pay, to one of their train operators for allegedly texting on the job, as reported by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The Atlanta transit company, MARTA, hired the suspended employee, Damien Whatley in 2000. The accused Atlanta commuter train employee recently become a train operator within the last two years. Recent reports indicate a MARTA transit rider, reportedly, told MARTA officials he was absolutely sure he saw Whatley using his phone, not just holding it, while operating the MARTA train. The Atlanta are rider took a picture of Whatley from behind, which showed a device in his hands. MARTA executives imposed the maximum suspension under the company’s policies due to the limited evidence against the train operator. Investigators working with MARTA are unsure how much the testimony and photo evidence will affect and/or conclude their investigation before final disciplinary action may be taken. According to Wikipedia, http://www.wikipedia.org/, MARTA is the principal rapid-transit system in the Atlanta metropolitan area, and the ninth largest rapid transit system in the United States, with an average of 451,064 passengers per day.
MARTA isn’t the first public transit authority to have incidents surrounding cell phone texting. Just within the last year, a Boston trolley and a California commuter train crashed because the operators were texting while they were transporting passengers. The California Metrolink train had a fatal head-on collision with a freight train in September 2008. The catastrophic Metrolink wreck left 25 people dead and 135 people injured, and was reportedly the deadliest train crash in the United States in 15 years. In May 2009, a Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) Green Line subway train rear-ended another Green Line trolley. The Boston MBTA train collision left a total of 50 passengers injured.
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