ORLANDO, Fla. - The leader of the Lynx bus drivers union told Channel 9 on Friday that his drivers are dangerously fatigued because they're forced to stay behind the wheel without a break way too long.
Union president Norm Audet, a Lynx driver himself with two decades experience, said the long hours on the road leave drivers with no choice except to stop the bus mid-route for a restroom break.
"I believe everybody is in jeopardy," said Audet. "Some are operating seven or eight hours without a break."
Joshua Moyer said he's seen bus driver do exactly what Audet described.
"I was actually on the 50 about to go to work," said Moyer. "He pulled over at gas station, turned on the emergency blinkers and he went in for five or 10 minutes and came out with a cup of coffee."
Channel 9 was there when another driver stopped his bus at a downtown Orlando 7-Eleven, went in and then came out with snacks while passengers were still onboard.
"There's nothing in the work rules that says you can't leave the bus with passengers onboard," said Audet. "As long as he's out of traffic, and he secured the bus, yes, (it's safe)."
But Lynx disagreed and said in a statement, "This specific instance was a violation of company policy. We will address directly with our operator."
The union said the solution is for Lynx to add more time on routes for drivers to take breaks at the end of each trip, but Lynx said there is plenty of time already for breaks, and the driver must follow the rules.