Mom says pizza drivers are potential danger

April 25, 2013 5:51:00 PM PDT
Kris Schadle contacted the ABC11 I-Team after she said she got into a crash with a Cary pizza delivery driver.

"Somebody needs to do something about it and the way they drive," she said.

Schadle explained she was driving down Cary Parkway with her two children in the car when it happened.

"I went to change lanes. And as I moved over, this guy pulls out in front of me. I had nowhere to go, and so we collided," she recalled.

Police didn't issue a traffic citation to either driver and they each paid for their own damage, but Schadle said she feels the driver was in a hurry.

"I think so. Especially since he yelled at me and then left with his bumper in the back seat," said Schadle.

After hearing her story, the I-Team went undercover - watching pizza delivery drivers in Wake County. On video, we documented drivers speeding, rolling through stop signs, and drivers making risky turns.

We took the video to William Powell at the Jordan Driving School.

"A lot of things that I was witnessing in the videos is because of the lack of patience," said Powell.

We discovered many pizza drivers are paid an hourly wage, plus they get paid per delivery. They also can make tips on deliveries, so the more they deliver, the more they can make. Does that give them an incentive to speed?

We asked Jeff Bartley, who manages a Papa John's in Cary.

"The safety of our drivers and the safety of the community at large is very important to Papa John's," he said.

The I-Team researched accidents across the country involving pizza delivery drivers and found that last month in Houston, a motorcyclist was killed in a crash when a pizza delivery driver allegedly turned in front of him.

In Boston three years ago, a 9-year-old boy was killed in a crash when police say a pizza delivery driver ran a stop sign.

"It's a recipe for disaster," she offered. "All it takes is running one stop sign or reading something and not paying attention, and you hit somebody. It's not safe."

Local police departments tell the I-Team that they don't keep specific records of accidents involving delivery drivers, so there's no reliable data about the number of wrecks they get into.

In addition to Papa John's, ABC11 contacted Domino's and Pizza Hut for comment on this story.

Papa John's told us it holds extensive training for drivers and has "very strict" hiring requirements. People with poor driving records are not hired and driving records are reviewed every six months.

It will "investigate any information regarding driver safety and will take appropriate action," it said.

A local Domino's franchisee said he wants to hear from people if a driver is doing something wrong. He told us his message to employees is "hustle on their feet, but not on the street."

"It's only pizza. If it's late, it's late, a pizza can be replaced, a person can't be," he offered.

Pizza Hut did not return our calls to its corporate headquarters in Dallas.

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