When a TTC worker makes a bad decision, it’s annoying, and sometimes dangerous. When a TTC worker makes a bad decision while somebody is shooting pictures or video, though, it’s news. The latest example of the latter came just last week, when a dash-cam video showing a TTC bus blowing a red light and having an apparent near-miss with a pedestrian sparked a media furor, ultimately resulting in the driver being fired. Somehow, though, these stories always take a turn for the sad. (Remember George Robitaille, the TTC collector who was caught on camera napping with his mouth hilariously agape, only to die a few months later because, it turned out, he had medical issues?)
And so here’s the depressing twist in the red-light-runner story: in a letter written by the now-jobless driver—reportedly a single mother of two—and released by the TTC workers’ union, she makes a heartrending apology for what she calls “an unacceptable lack of judgment.” She explains that she ran the light because she was momentarily confused by what sounds like an unlucky combination of road conditions (a roadside distraction at a bus stop, plus traffic movement that made it seem, at first glance, as though the light hadn’t turned) and that she “never once took her eyes off” the pedestrian, who was unharmed. Because of the way the story broke, we’ll probably never know if her dismissal was a case of real, everyday accountability, or if the TTC was simply embarrassed into reacting more severely than it normally would have.