Legislation proposed to mute tour bus drivers

Legislation to prohibit tour bus drivers to narrate while driving was introduced by Supervisor Norman Yee during the Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday.

The proposed legislation comes as a motorized cable car tour bus last October struck and killed Priscilla Moreto while crossing the busy intersection just outside of City Hall. Moreno worked in the San Francisco controller’s office.

Yee said that the legislation would help aid in the City’s goal of Vision Zero — reducing traffic fatalities to zero by 2024:

”This ordinance that I’d like to introduce is just to going to be another tool to get to make sure we get our vision for 2024.”

Driving a tour bus around the City is more complex than driving a regular vehicle, which is why drivers of tour bus drivers need to concentrate on driving instead of narrating while driving, he said.

He said distracted drivers poses a significant risk of injuries or death to motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists:

“According to the California Traffic Safety Survey in 2013, 36 percent of Californians surveyed thought that talking while driving posed a the biggest safety problems on California roadways and nearly 70 percent of California drivers surveyed said they had been hit or nearly hit by a driver who was talking or texting.”

The number of pedestrians fatalities last year was slightly down in 2014 with 18 fatalities compared to 21 in 2013.

City transit officials from the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency are putting in pedestrian safety measures on the most dangerous corridors in San Francisco. The goal is to complete 24 projects in 24 months. So far the SFMTA completed 10 of the 24 projects.