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Log transit drivers' hours

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Friday, Feb. 1, 2013, 9:05 p.m.

So, now we have yet another example of a government entity being exempt from its own rules: Port Authority of Allegheny County. From the news story “Port Authority bus drivers' extra hours under study” (Jan. 26 and, we discover that the agency's bus drivers are “exempt” from laws regarding their on-duty hours.

How can this be? Commercial truck drivers and private bus drivers must keep an accurate log of their driving hours to help mitigate fatigue, and believe me, that is strictly enforced.

Then we learn that there were 138 “crashes” involving Port Authority bus and light-rail drivers that caused injuries or “significant” damage from December 2011 through November 2012, but these were determined not to be related to “fatigue or overwork.” By whom? Themselves? Not the National Transportation Safety Board or U.S. Department of Transportation? When have you ever seen a Port Authority bus inspection at a DOT truck safety checkpoint?

I think there is something more going on here — pension padding. Aren't drivers' pension amounts based on their total hours accrued during their final two to three years?

If so, are they intentionally driving way over the max hours allowed by law to ensure a hefty pension package (heavily funded by taxpayers)?

Let's make logbook enforcement mandatory for all these drivers. It'll give them something to do on their breaks!

Greg Massung

North Huntingdon

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