The three recent fatal accidents involving Metrobuses and pedestrians [front page, Feb. 19] bring to mind an encounter I had with a Metrobus not long ago.
My two grandchildren and I were in my car attempting to exit a parking lot at Marlboro Pike and Silver Hill Road in District Heights. A Metrobus not only blocked my view of oncoming traffic, but the driver also almost hit me and seemed determined to block my path out of the lot. Even my grandchildren (ages 11 and 7) noticed. They gave the driver a puzzled look, and she glared back at us.
I took down the bus number and reported the incident to Metro. A supervisor said he would speak to the driver. Who knows if he did? No one followed up with me.
I am a retired federal employee who used public transportation for 32 years. I believe that some Metrobus drivers are not as courteous and careful as drivers once were.
Are the Metrobus drivers of today a reflection of the times? Drivers, in general, are in a hurry -- on cellphones, writing, putting on makeup, etc. It's sad what we have become as a people, a community and a nation. I send my condolences to the families whose relatives were killed in those accidents.
ARLENE M. SANDIFER
I am not surprised that three more unsuspecting pedestrians have been killed by Metrobuses. In my daily walks along busy downtown streets, I see Metrobus drivers routinely run red lights and speed through intersections. Repeated complaints to WMATA have been ignored, so perhaps a few red-light cameras at downtown intersections would save lives.
I take exception to Metro General Manager John B. Catoe Jr.'s plan [Metro, Jan. 30] to retain a contractor to provide a safety plan in response to the recent rash of Metrobus accidents. Metro certainly must employ well-compensated safety specialists who possess the technical acumen to solve this problem. If not, hiring contractors is a red flag to the public that Metrobus safety was not an integral element of Metro's business plan.
M.E. DU BOSE
In each of the three recent cases in which Metrobuses have killed pedestrians, the media have focused on the fault of the bus driver and not the fact that they might have been prevented had the pedestrians taken minimal precautions.
I am a frequent pedestrian downtown, and when Metrobuses invade my space, or are about to, I do everything to avoid them.
Yes, I may have the right of way, and the driver would be at fault if a bus were to hit me, but most certainly I would be dead right. One warning to pedestrians: Never place yourself in danger with a 20-ton bus, or even a two-ton sedan bearing down on you. Before crossing, make sure you make eye contact with the driver.