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KOKUA LINE


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Bus driver has discretion in handling volatile conduct

By June Watanabe

POSTED:



Question: On Monday, March 18, I was riding the No. 2 bus in the direction of Kalihi Transit Center. At a stop in Chinatown, a couple got on. From the moment he boarded, the guy kept up a loud, steady stream of profanity. At times he was in her face so close they touched. At one point she was crying. He threatened her, saying he was going to f-ing shoot her, the guy she was supposedly sleeping with and himself. And the bus driver never lifted a finger. Never told him to take that garbage off the bus, never even told him to watch his language. The entire bus had to put up with that open sewer mouth for over 20 minutes. When he finally did get off the bus, he stood in the door for at least two minutes, berating the girl, then got off and pounded his fist against the glass when the bus took off. A lady asked the driver why he didn’t throw the guy off the bus and his answer was that he didn’t want to upset the guy and possibly get the girl hurt. What? Are you saying he didn’t have enough spine to call a supervisor and tell him to be waiting at the next stop with a police officer to have him removed? That bus driver needs to be reprimanded so if it does happen again, maybe he’ll act like someone with a spine.

Answer: Although calling for possible help would seem to have been a wise thing to do, Oahu Transit Services, which operates the city’s bus system, says the driver handled the situation as best as he could.

“We apologize to the passengers that had to witness this situation,” said OTS spokeswoman Michelle Kennedy.

She said OTS officials feel the driver in this case “used his discretion and was successful in avoiding injury to the female involved in the incident, to the passengers and to the bus operator himself.”

She said transportation managers spoke with the bus driver, who told them he felt that any intervention would have risked exacerbating the situation.

“Please be aware that when police are called in for assistance they require that the bus be stalled so that they can direct their officers to the designated location,” Kennedy said. “While the operator waits for assistance, the situation can escalate quickly.”

She said drivers are trained to follow general operating procedures, which state: “A Bus Operator should intervene in an altercation between passengers ONLY for the most compelling reasons and ONLY if the intervention will be beneficial. These types of situations are extreme and anything can happen, so there is no rule that can be applied consistently in such situations. Bus Operators must again use their good judgment and take the appropriate course of action.”

Question: The Star-Advertiser had an article about radio station 101.5 FM moving away from the smooth jazz genre. This was sad. What are the remaining smooth jazz stations, if any, in Honolulu? Is there a website where we can find all the radio stations in our town and their broadcasting format/programs?

Answer: The online Hawaii Radio & Television Guide — www.hawaiiradiotv.com — is a good source for finding out what’s on the air, both on TV and radio, including stations featuring jazz.

MAHALO

To four strangers who responded when my husband fell on the concrete sidewalk on King Street, across from Straub Hospital, on Thursday, March 7. He suffered a gash on his eyelid, multiple contusions to his legs and an orbital fracture. These caring people, whose names we did not obtain due to the emergency, provided us with supplies to stop the profuse bleeding and stopped traffic to help us cross busy King Street to get to Straub. Because of them, we were able to get medical help quickly. We are ever so grateful for their compassion and quick response in helping a total stranger. We know that their good deed will someday be recognized. — Gilbert and Doris

_________

Write to "Kokua Line" at Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu 96813; call 529-4773; fax 529-4750; or email kokualine@staradvertiser.com.






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LMO wrote:
Why didn't any of the passengers do anything? The guy was making terroristic threats. Don't blame the driver. No one did anything!
on April 4,2013 | 01:57AM
juke wrote:
wake up people dont give a damn nor the bus driver or hpd.its all about self
on April 4,2013 | 03:50AM
juke wrote:
what would have done?
on April 4,2013 | 03:59AM
Kate53 wrote:
Passengers could have called the police. The man's behavior was threatening, he was threatening to shoot and kill people. Doesn't have to be you being threatened to call the police.
on April 4,2013 | 06:20AM
Wazdat wrote:
YUP not much COMMON SENSE here
on April 4,2013 | 07:08AM
gofigga wrote:
Because the driver is the captain of the ship. It is his responsibilty to ensure the well being and safety of his passengers. However, once the threat of serious bodily harm was made,the driver should have notified his dispatch of his situation and had the 'threat" removed. He dropped the ball on this one. Before a passenger gets involved that passenger has to decide if he wants the liability, both in time and money, to be posibly expended.It is true that the whole situation is handled at the driver's descretion, standard operating procedures should be in place when incidents such as these occur.
on April 4,2013 | 03:57AM
mikethenovice wrote:
Bus driver is the captain, not the baby sitter...He should not be butting into other people's affairs unless it is life threatening.
on April 9,2013 | 06:27PM
st1d wrote:
anyone with a cell phone could have called 911 and reported the incident.
on April 4,2013 | 05:04AM
mikethenovice wrote:
Don't expect the young ones to log off of FaceBook(FB) to call for help. Gossiping is that priority one with the young generation. Must be important if they stay logged on to FB 24/7. That counts them out as a reliable source for helping.
on April 9,2013 | 06:29PM
silvangold wrote:
ST1D ::: THE ONLY GOOD ANSWER TO THIS SITUATION
on April 4,2013 | 06:04AM
localguy wrote:
OTS and HPD did nothing, just tried to spin this as all was handled ok. Give me a break. Policy needs to change to where a driver can call in a problem, keep driving, when an HPD officer pulls his vehicle, lights off, signal the driver while in front of the bus, driver can safely pull to the side. Once safely stopped, HPD can take action. What is it with OTS bureaucrats who have no backbone, no spine to protect their passengers from this kind of abuse. Where is Donna Kim to investigate this fiasco and set up procedures so it does not happen again. Clearly the status quo isn't cutting it. Once again another public relations disaster in the Nei. This is what we do, nothing.
on April 4,2013 | 06:38AM
juke wrote:
your 100% right
on April 4,2013 | 06:42AM
Wazdat wrote:
AGREE...typical of hawaii style dont rock da boat
on April 4,2013 | 07:09AM
Peacenik wrote:
problem is deeper than the 20 minutes of pain the passengers had to endure. the gf's well-being was endangered, and i believe the driver did what he thought best for everyone at that time. it's easy to 2nd guess, but if the man went berserk, many could have been injured or even killed. the gf needs to leave him, in a safe manner. hope passengers took photos of him and reported incident to police.
on April 4,2013 | 09:50AM
sayer wrote:
That's what I'm thinking. There's no easy answer; the slightest provocation and he might have unloaded on everyone in the bus. The police definitely should have been notified though.
on April 4,2013 | 10:06AM
Allenk wrote:
Couldn't the driver pull over at the next stop and ask the passenger to leave? If things escalated, he could have called 911 or have some type of emergency back up system.
on April 4,2013 | 09:50AM
gth wrote:
What does HPD have to do with this? They weren't notified!
on April 4,2013 | 09:54AM
Publicbraddah wrote:
Retraining for the driver.
on April 4,2013 | 08:06AM
kennie1933 wrote:
Something should have been done. But has anyone ever been out in public like a store, restaurant, or park, and someone is doing this (screaming obscenities) or even not as harsh but just casually talking but using a string of profanities? I know it's public, and we have free speech, but there should be more consideration, especially if children are around. For me, I just feel sorry for the person who has such a limited vocabulary.
on April 4,2013 | 09:50AM
cojef wrote:
Sad situation, second guessing and the lot. There is no sure, correct answer. TheBus driver did what he thought was right, not withstanding the woman's plight, being berated and threatened. My take, stop the bus immediately and not wait till the next bus stop, it's an emergency, and then ask the bad guy to leave. The course of action after that will depend on the bad guy's behavior.
on April 4,2013 | 12:18PM
MightyMakiki wrote:
The Bus driver.... Normally, he would first ask the man to leave... Then he would stop the Bus and he would pick up his phone and call dispatcher. Eventurally the Police would be called. The Bus would be delayed 20 or so minutes. The passengers would be given the option to get out of the Bus and switch to the next Bus. The trouble is the Route 2 is that it is in such a mess from the changes made last year by dropping the Route 13 and the B Express, this 20 minutes delay would cause an even more bitter response. So by what I hear, the driver did the best, by continuing down his/her route so passengers (who were hearing all this) could get to their destinations within a reasonable time. Get the 13 and B Express back on line, please.
on April 4,2013 | 12:31PM
Publicbraddah wrote:
Altho the bus driver could have handled the situation better by calling for help, you can't totally blame him because the psycho causing the disturbance could come back the next day to confront the driver.
on April 4,2013 | 01:08PM
Publicbraddah wrote:
Altho the bus driver could have handled this better by calling for help, you can't totally blame him because he must have felt intimidated himself. The psycho could come back the next day to confront the driver.
on April 4,2013 | 01:10PM
BRock wrote:
I think the bus driver acted properly. All the SOBs who are putting him down are just talking out of their rear ends and if they had been at the scene, probably would not have have done squat. Here we have a situation that did not lead to an escalation of violence and these yahoos are still bitching and moaning.
on April 4,2013 | 03:34PM
scooters wrote:
Everyone on the bus was spineless. What if this LOW LIFE DUDE was on an aircraft doing then same thing? Would these same passengers and The Bus Driver do the same thing..NOTHING!
on April 4,2013 | 05:46PM
mrluke wrote:
Lots of Monday morning quarterbacks on this site today.
on April 4,2013 | 06:21PM
mikethenovice wrote:
Get used to it. As Hawaii becomes more like the Mainland, our culture will change as well. It's one man for himself from now on.
on April 4,2013 | 07:11PM
McB0B wrote:
Nobody on the bus besides the driver had a mouth or a cell phone? It's always funny when someone gripes about nobody doing anything about something they didn't do anything about either. Maybe, just maybe, if the writer had spoken up the others on the bus may have too and the jerk would know enough math to know he was outnumbered and shut up. Instead everybody basically sends the message that unless there's a cop present they're OK with jerks doing what they feel like. Yeah, that's a great plan!
on April 4,2013 | 07:22PM
Punahele wrote:
The person complaining was the worst -- even after interpreting the situation as warranting police involvement, the writer just sat back and let it go. Didn't go up to the bus driver, didn't call the police, didn't ask others to call the police. Just sat back and figured it's everyone else's responsibility. Or even worse. Just let it go and sat there planning who to blame afterward.
on April 5,2013 | 06:27AM
agumakiki wrote:
Retraining & new procedures are needed
on April 9,2013 | 08:30AM
mikethenovice wrote:
Bus driver can't do anything since no physical harm was done. It's up to that lady to call for help herself. Crying won't solve anything.
on April 9,2013 | 06:13PM
hikine wrote:
For twenty minutes the passengers had to endure this drama and the bus driver didn't do anything? The guy threatened someone's life and everyone heard it! What happens if he was actually carrying a gun and started shooting? The bus driver should've let both of them off the bus when the threat was presented and called authorities.
on April 11,2013 | 03:52AM
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