The Tampa Area Safety Council has honored nine Hillsborough Area Regional Transit drivers with the One Million Mile Club Award during its recent luncheon.
The drivers — Desmond Coulson, Demetra Jackson, Charles Evans, Rigoberto Oquendo, Luis Garcia, Thomas Palmore, David Gonzalez, Al Hughes and Antonio White — have careers with the bus system that date back to the late 1990s and early 2000s, and have completed an average of 14 consecutive years without a preventable accident.
The total driving of these drivers is 9 million miles, the equivalent of driving to the moon and back 38 times without an accident, according to a release.
The One Million Mile Club has been in existence since 1994, and has 124 members — with 24 of the now inducted into the Two Million Mile Club, which requires 27 years of driving without a preventable accident.
Only one person, retired HART driver Samuel Baker, holds the title of a Three Million Mile Club, a designation he earned in 2004 after driving 42 years without causing an accident.
HART has more than 400 bus and van operators, and go through an extensive and stringent training course that covers safety, customer service and emergency response.