Muni bus runs stop signs, crashes into truck

January 7, 2010 7:02:09 PM PST
A recent Muni bus accident is triggering outrage at City Hall. Video footage released Thursday by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency shows a Muni bus rolling through two stop signs before colliding with a truck.

"It's horrible; it's so disappointing to me I can't even express it," San Francisco Supervisor Bevan Dufty said upon watching the footage of the 19-Polk bus crashing into a small truck in Potrero Hill just after midnight on Jan 5.

The camera mounted at the front of the bus shows it going north down De Haro Street. Driver Pete Pon goes through one stop sign minutes before he approaches the second stop sign at the intersection where the accident occurs.

"It appears to show the bus does roll through the stop sign," Muni spokesperson Judson True said.

The driver of the truck, moving west toward the bus on 18th street, also failed to stop at the stop sign before slamming on his brakes when he sees the bus.

The two drivers and five passengers were taken to the hospital; two others were treated at the scene. Two of those passengers were pregnant women.

Dufty says the cameras were mounted on Muni buses not only as a deterrent to crime, but also to cut down on avoidable accidents.

"It's unbelievable to me that we have 800 cameras on every bus and that operators are continuing to roll and run stop signs," Dufty said.

Dufty presides over the MTA. He wants police to crackdown on Muni drivers who break the law.

"Muni is paying $12 million to operate the police department's traffic company and as soon as I get done talking to you, my phone call is to Chief Gascon," Dufty said.

Duffy plans to ask the San Francisco police chief to start citing Muni bus drivers who break traffic laws.

The Muni union chief said he was too busy to comment on the incident. Pon is on desk duty while the accident is being investigated.