Talk about avoiding unnecessary conversation: a Muni driver on the 24-Divisadero line was caught red-handed texting behind the wheel while the bus was in motion. Shawn Higgins, a jewelry store owner in the Castro who rides the 24 to work daily, spotted the distracted driver tapping away at an iPhone in her lap as if she didn't have a busload of real live human beings riding in the back. Higgins told CBS5 that he moved to the seat across from the driver to get a shot of the action, but she quickly stopped - that's when he cleverly filmed her reflection in one of the door mirrors [Video embedded below].

After Higgins confronted the driver to point out it is illegal to text while driving, the operator pulled the bus over at 15th and Castro, started recording him with her own telephone and then threatened: "I'll never pick you up again asshole." She then claimed she was ill, cleared all passengers from the bus and called central control for a new bus.

When notified of the incident (it occurred back in February) Muni Spokesman Paul Rose told KCBS "Obviously, an operator does not have that authority on who they can or cannot pick up. And if that did happen, that’s not acceptable." The driver, who has 9-years with Muni, was placed on a 3-day unpaid suspension and has since returned to work.

The CBS5 video report, with Higgins' spycam footage: