Thursday, January 12, 2006

'Reckless' bus driver quits before hearing

The Translux bus driver who allegedly canoodled with his girlfriend while driving recklessly with a load of passengers, has resigned just days before his disciplinary hearing was due to start.
The driver had been suspended after allegedly taking his passengers on a horror ride a week ago when he reportedly cavorted with his girlfriend as he battled to keep the bus on the road at high speed.
Translux spokesman Carl Newman said his company would proceed with steps against the driver despite his resignation and place the findings on his employment record.
The drama unfolded early on January 5 when passengers, fearing for their lives, made desperate phone calls to the police and family to complain about the driver.
They said he was swerving dangerously across the N2 and had broken the speed limit several times as his girlfriend fondled, kissed and tickled him.
Later that day Translux management suspended the driver pending an investigation and scheduled a disciplinary hearing for next Friday.
Passengers on the bus travelling from East London to Cape Town raised the alarm with Graaff-Reinet police who then waited for the bus to arrive at a service station in the town where they took several statements from passengers.
Vicky Jackson of Cape Town, who called the Cape Argus from the bus as it was approaching Cape Town, said it had been a frightening experience.
Jackson said she and her son Marc, 6, had been sitting close to the driver who was doing "some low flying" (speeding).
"My son was forced to watch the woman kissing and fondling him," Jackson said.
In her formal complaint to Translux management Jackson said that when she confronted the driver, he had verbally abused her and threatened to throw her off the bus.
But the other passengers rallied to support Jackson and threatened to all get off the bus and wait on the side of the road with her if he carried out his threats.
Newman said passengers who witnessed the alleged misconduct of the driver had been asked to testify in the hearing.
He said it was the driver's prerogative to appear but it would be in his own interest to show up at the hearing, which will be held at the Translux offices in Cape Town.

Drive ReportTranslux management should use the services of Drive Report, an independent company that monitors driver behaviour. Any improper behaviour of the driver can be reported to a 24-hour call centre and the operations manager gets an SMS message as soon as a serious call has been logged. I helped Drive Report write their call centre software, and have heard some amazing stories of driver behaviour. Usually bad drivers get reported for less severe offences, and the bad ones can be given warnings long before this kind of behaviour occurs. Also, the good drivers get acknowledgement for their behaviour too, which encourages safety and better driving.

Original story: Cape Argus - 'Reckless' bus driver quits before hearing | Related entry: Terror ride as bus driver cuddled

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