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Kokua Line

Bus drivers banned from all cell-phone use while on road

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QUESTION: On Tuesday, July 6, I was on the 57A Eastbound bus that was scheduled to reach Ala Moana Center at 10 a.m. I rang to get off at South Street. The "Stop Requested" light came on, along with the voice, "stop requested." The bus went right past the stop. I pulled the stop cord again. The "Stop Requested" light and voice came on. The bus went right past the next stop, at Coral Street. I went to the front of the bus and told the driver, "Hey, you just went right past my stops." He said, "Sorry, I was on the phone." He finally stopped at Ahui Street and apologized again. I was a bit late for work. I think he was using a hands-free device in his ear. Could someone please remind this driver to pay attention to his passengers?

ANSWER: Oahu Transit Services appreciates having the public "make us aware of unsafe driving by our operators," said spokeswoman Michelle Kennedy.

She said your complaint would be investigated "and handled appropriately."

She also apologized for the inconvenience you experienced.

"All bus operators are strictly prohibited from making or receiving mobile phone calls while operating a company vehicle," Kennedy said. This includes using earpieces and hands-free devices.

When making a complaint to OTS, you are asked to provide a detailed description of what happened, date and time of when it happened, location, direction, bus route and bus number.

Kennedy said problems like this should be reported to the Customer Service Office at 848-4500 or at www.thebus.org (click on "Customer Comments").

"In addition to complaints, we also welcome hearing suggestions and commendations," Kennedy said.

QUESTION: I read the story about the new body scan machine at Lihue Airport and about the fellow who was pulled aside because he had paper napkins in his pocket (http://www.hsblinks.com/2jh). I had a prostate operation whereby I have to wear a pad. Will this show up on the machine? Are the people operating the machines qualified to recognize something like this or will I have to undergo a pat-down?

ANSWER: "We don’t ever specifically say what the machine can detect," said Suzanne Trevino, spokeswoman for the Transportation Security Administration, based in Phoenix, Ariz.

She said she can’t tell you if the pad will show up on the Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) body scanners, but said you have two options regarding screening.

The AIT screening "is completely optional," so you can choose to go through the regular walk-through metal detectors. But that entails having a pat-down.

The other option is to go through the AIT scanner and explain the situation to the TSA officer, if the pad is questioned.

All officers who operate the scanner receive training in dealing with special medical issues, Trevino said, as well as "trained to respectfully resolve any alarms that may happen."

The scanners are looking for "hidden threat objects—that’s what we’re ultimately looking for … for things a passenger may have put on the outside of the body that would cause harm to an aircraft," she said.

Mahalo

To Dr. Steven Kanemoto and staff for being such a wonderful dental care provider. Marian, Robin and Georgette are so loving, warm and professional. Dr. Kanemoto is the best. We hope he never retires.—Reiko and Layla

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 e-mail kokualine@staradvertiser.com.

 

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