SEPTA investigates after bus caught on video breaking railroad crossing gate

A SEPTA bus.
Photo credit Holli Stephens/KYW Newsradio
By KYW Newsradio 1060
PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — SEPTA is interviewing a bus driver who was caught on video driving through a railroad crossing, breaking the gate arm.
The video making the rounds on Twitter shows a Route 18 SEPTA bus driving through a rail crossing while the crossing lights are flashing. The gate arm breaks off as the bus crosses the tracks.  

WHOA! SEPTA bus driver blows through a railroad crossing... rips off the crossing arm... and keeps going! What would you do if *you were on this bus? ⁦@6abcpic.twitter.com/EGR9kl3Kwu

— TaRhonda Thomas (@TaRhondaThomas) May 23, 2019

SEPTA Assistant General Manager Scott Sauer says it happened Saturday on Oxford Avenue, near SEPTA's Fox Chase train station. Sauer says drivers are required to stop at every rail crossing, 15 feet from the tracks.  

But he says in this case, in an effort to get a better look at the tracks, which intersect Oxford Ave. on a sharp angle, the driver stopped too close.

"It just turns out that he was stopped directly underneath the crossing arm. So when the crossing arm was coming down it would have come down on top of him. He had made the safety stop and then started across the crossing because, as we would tell any motorists, you don't want to sit in between the gates.  You want to get out of there," Sauer said.

The gate arm broke off as it was designed to do. Sauer says it was repaired a half hour after customers and railroad crews reported it.  

The driver is being interviewed, and SEPTA will determine whether any disciplinary action is necessary.