45 years of safe driving: LTC driver makes Ontario history
A driver for the London Transit Commission is being recognized for 45 years of driving safely, a first in Ontario.
Doug Gardiner, an LTC bus driver, is being recognized as the first in the history of the Ontario Safety League to reach the milestone.
The 70-year-old says, "I pretty well just drive. I don't talk to a lot of people. I don't try to be unfriendly, but I just try to do my job."
He started driving in 1966 at the age of 21 and says he got a lot of stares at the time because he was so young and looked even younger.
Kelly Paleczny, general manager at the LTC, commended Gardiner at an event on the weekend and highlighted why the achievement is so unusual.
“While 45 years of safe driving sounds impressive on its own – for an LTC bus operator, this equates to 75,000 hours of driving! At the average speed a bus travels, that equates to over 1.5 million kilometres behind the wheel, picking up and dropping off passengers, navigating other traffic, pedestrians and all other distractions, all without a preventable accident," she explained in a statement.
Still, Gardiner says he has had some close calls and does have some pet peeves when it comes to other drivers.
"Just if somebody comes up to the side of me and then they'll turn right in front of me - when you're at an intersection all of a sudden. I don't like that too much, but who does?"
As for retirement, Gardiner says he enjoys his work and likely won't stop, "until my health goes or they won't let me do it anymore."