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Jurisdiction Complicates San Francisco Supervisor's Proposal For Driving & Narrating Tour Bus Law

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— San Francisco is out to prevent another fatal accident like the one that happened last October when a tour bus hit and killed a woman walking in the crosswalk in front of City Hall.

There is legislation in the works to prevent the tour operator from driving and narrating at the same time, but it would only pertain to a small group of companies. The act is considered yet another form of distracted driving, similar to texting and driving.

"Last year we had a tragic fatality where we had a tour-bus driver who was both driving and narrating at the same time, killed one of our city employees as she was walking across the crosswalk," said City Supervisor Jane Kim.

The employee she was referring to was 68-year-old Priscilla Moreto, a city accountant who was fatally struck by the tour bus last year as she crossed the Polk Street crosswalk onto the City Hall steps.

Kim says she has co-authored a measure requiring two people to be on duty inside tour buses; one to drive, and one to talk, but that it's not as easy as it seems.

"The city doesn't have jurisdiction over tour buses that operate both inside the city and outside the city. That is state jurisdiction," she said.

While the problem still conceivably exists, supervisors say there is still something that can be done.

"We've been encouraging folks to reach out to their state reps, this is a huge statewide issue," said Kim.

Meanwhile, legislation to govern San Francisco-only tour bus companies is working its way through the governmental process.

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