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Insufficient training?

textmessageDamien Whatley of Atlanta was recently suspended for three days by his employers after being caught texting on the job. Whatley’s employers learned of his texting after another man, Matthew Jones, complained then took a photo of Whatley texting and posted it it to Twitter.

Matthew Jones is probably sounding like a bit of a twat right now, and he may well be, but there is a reason why he was so upset.  Damien Whatley is a train operator for MARTA and was driving a train while he was allegedly texting.

In defending what some have perceived as a light punishment, MARTA’s Senior Director of Rail Operations, Dave Springstead, had this to say:

Three days was the maximum suspension MARTA could impose under the circumstances. MARTA had limited evidence to go on since a photo that the rider took of the incident was taken from the rear of the person. It’s not what I would call the clearest, best photo that could have been provided.

Oh, well pardon Jones’ cellphone photo taking skills, Mr. Picky McPicture-Pants.  Jones stood by his assertions (and his photo), telling the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the driver checked his phone multiple times and that he could see the driver punching keys, “I definitely saw his thumb moving at some point.” Regarding the photo, he said the driver was looking around in what seemed like an attempt to see if he was being watched, so he was limited in what kind of photo he could get.

Note, commuters in Atlanta might want to consider driving as an alternative to the train.  You can usually get a cell signal when stuck in traffic and can while away the boring commute by texting, and that has to be safer than someone else doing it while driving you, right?  Afterall,  last year, one single train accident that was caused by its driver texting killed 25 people and injured 138 others. How many car accidents have you had while texting that killed and injured that many people at once? I thought so…


June 17, 2009 - Posted by | News You May or May Not Use | , , ,


  1. It’s only safe when I do it. Because I have multi-tasking skillz.

    With a z!

    Comment by TheHobo | June 17, 2009 | Reply

  2. I text and engineer all the time!

    (Get it? Because I’m a mechanical engineer and he’s a train-driving type? Now do you get it?)

    Comment by Cristal Methodd | June 17, 2009 | Reply

  3. Cristal…

    I get it. I’m just not sure I want it. 😉

    Actually, yes I do. Give it to me baby!

    Comment by TheHobo | June 17, 2009 | Reply

  4. Oh YES! Hump day!!

    Comment by Cristal Methodd | June 17, 2009 | Reply

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