DENVER (CBS4/AP) — A wayward Regional Transportation District passenger bus had to be moved after the driver made a wrong turn into Interstate 25′s one-way, high-speed traffic lane.
Police say motorists were lucky there was no accident when the bus drove head-on into rush-hour traffic on I-25 on Tuesday before coming to an abrupt stop.
Traffic was able to get by after the bus was moved to the side of the two-lane highway. A bus authority spokesman says the bus driver was new to the route.
The Colorado Department of Transportation closed the lane so the bus could be safely driven off around 70th.
CBS4 Traffic Specialist Joel Hillan investigated to see how the driver could make the mistake. He found the driver entered the HOV lane at 19th and Wynkop in LoDo. He found that the signs there are confusing. The sign reads “Bus HOV Ramp Open 5 to 10 a.m. Monday through Friday.” But above that sign there’s another that reads “Do Not Enter.” There is another sign that lights up that says “Buses Excepted.”
Hillan took a picture of the sign and shared it with RTD spokesman Scott Reid.
“If I’m a new bus driver and I see ‘Bus HOV Ramp Open 5 to 10 a.m.,’ I’m like, ‘Okay, here I go,’ ” Hillan told Reid.
“Yeah, that’s a good point,” Reid responded.
It’s a point which he says will be part of the investigation, not only to determine what happened, but how to keep it from happening again.
“We’ve carried hundreds of millions of passenger trips safely, but even having one incident like this is a big concern,” Reid said.
Denver police cited the bus driver for careless driving and driving the wrong way.
RTD says it takes the safety of its passengers very seriously and there is an ongoing investigation. The bus driver has been suspended pending the results of the investigation.
After Hillan interviewed Reid, he called CBS4 to thank Hillan for showing him the picture of the signs at 19th and Wynkoop. Reid says because of Hillan’s story he immediately contacted CDOT and new signs are now being made in hopes it doesn’t happen again.
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