jenrgw Could the Cell Phone Bans for Mass Transit Workers be Too Strict?

Not surprisingly, some mass transit workers and union leaders believe so.  Many of the nation’s mass transit systems have strict penalties in place for workers who violate cell phone policies.

In Minneapolis – St. Paul, for example, bus drivers and light rail workers face a 20 day suspension and final warning letter for the first violation of the cell phone policy.  For the second violation, they are fired.  In Minneapolis – St. Paul, all cell phones must be turned off and stowed away while bus drivers and light rail workers are on the job.

In Boston, the rules and consequences are even more significant.  The rules in that city prohibit workers from even possessing a cell phone at work.  Anyone caught talking or texting while working can be immediately fired.

While it is conceivable that a simple error, such as forgetting to turn off your ringer before stowing away your cell phone, could result in a significant penalty, it is also conceivable that a distracted mass transit driver could cause many people to be injured in a distracted driving accident.  Thus, it is impossible to consider the severity of the penalties without considering the potential severity of not having the penalties in place.

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