VTA Driver Stays Calm Preventing a Head-on Collision

On Thursday, March 23, 2023, an incident happened that gives us pause to remind our community just how important, and well trained our VTA bus and train operators are. And to urge our riding public to invest in the wellbeing of fellow passengers and VTA drivers transporting precious cargo: human lives.

bus and car

Around 4:30 in the afternoon, a VTA bus on Route 68 was driving northbound on Hale Avenue in Morgan Hill, when the driver saw an oncoming car driving in the wrong lane of traffic approaching the bus, head on. With no room for the driver to pull off the two-lane street, the bus driver acted quickly and safely to stop, immediately preventing a head-on collision with the vehicle, protecting his passengers on board.

The driver of the vehicle also stopped, and for unknown reasons, got out of his car with pruning shears and proceeded to smash the front windshield of the bus, in addition to other parts of the vehicle and his own car. Instantly, using his best judgement based on his training, the bus driver called the VTA Operations Control Center (OCC) for help, kept the doors closed to protect the passengers on board, and advised them that law enforcement was on the way. Within one minute, VTA’s Transit Radio Dispatcher had alerted the authorities, and help was the on the way.  Officers on the scene arrested the driver of the oncoming vehicle on charges of felony vandalism. The bus was towed back to the yard, and passengers were transferred to another bus.

Part of why being a transit driver is so important, is that every day they transport the most precious cargo, and that is YOU!  Through heavy traffic, on two lane roads, navigating a 40,000 pound vehicle in  the case of a bus, 100,000 pounds in the case of a light rail train.

assault on public transit could mean jail time and a $2000 fine.

VTA recently posted reminders on all vehicles that assault on public transit is a serious crime punishable by a $2000 fine and/or jail time.  That includes assault on fellow passengers, or our operators.

We want to work together with the public to help ensure safety and security on our vehicles and property. VTA offers an app called VTAlerts that anyone can use to report safety concerns, suspicious activities, and medical emergencies. With VTAlerts, you can call 911 in the event of an emergency or instantaneously report safety concerns directly to VTA Transit Security when traveling on our system.

Download the VTAlerts mobile app that is available for iPhone and Android phones and tablets. Visit https://www.vta.org/go/safety/vtalerts for more information or to download today.

We hope you’ll be as invested as we are in keeping our employees and our passengers safe.

Subscribe to our Newsletter