Bus Driver who Read at the Wheel Sentenced Following Accident
A bus driver who lost control of the wheel whilst driving, injuring five passengers, has been sentenced.
On 22nd February 2016, the driver, who was employed by Cambus Limited trading as Stagecoach East, was negotiating a gap in the guided section of the track, when he lost control of the vehicle. The vehicle jumped over the track, travelling across an adjacent path and stopped alongside a grassy embankment. Five of the on-board passengers sustained injuries, including a fractured spine, pelvis, ribs and whiplash.
Following the incident, an investigation carried out by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) discovered that at the time of driving the bus, the driver was reading a time duty card, severely hindering his vision of the busway ahead and affecting his grip on the steering wheel. Inspection of the bus post-incident also found that the driver was driving at speeds of 52mph whilst in a 30mph zone.
Following the case, HSE inspector Nigel Fitzhugh, commented “Drivers of guided buses must remain vigilant at all times. It is especially important to do so when driving on guided sections as the absence of steering control may create a sense that full control of the bus is being maintained. Members of the public should be assured that HSE seriously considers the risks to their health and safety and takes appropriate enforcement action where necessary.”
The driver, Mr. Van Chuyen Le, pleaded guilty of breaching Section 7(1) of the Health and Safety etc Act 1974, receiving a prison sentence of 12 weeks, which has been suspended for a period of 12 months. Mr. Le was also ordered to pay costs of £2,000.
Source: HSE Press, Bus driver sentenced after passengers injured, 9th August 2048. Read the full article.