A NAUGHTY University bus driver has been snapped allegedly using their mobile phone at the wheel – potentially committing a criminal offence.
The First driver was caught red-handed as they were operating the UB1 shuttle bus, which takes students around campus. They were spotted by a passer-by as they were letting students onto the bus in Halifax College.
Although the bus was stationary at the time, the engine appeared to be running, meaning a potential punishment of up to £200 and six penalty points on their license. It is illegal to use a non-hands free device while driving, even if the vehicle isn’t moving. Drivers are only permitted to use mobiles if safely parked, with the engine turned off.
Marc Bichtemann, Managing Director of First York, which operates the service, told York Vision: “The safety of our customers is our highest priority. We do not tolerate any action from any employee that may compromise the safety of our customers.
“Drivers must remain focused and alert at all times while in control of the vehicle and therefore, we are very concerned to learn of this allegation.
“We have not received any formal complaints about one of our drivers using a mobile phone whilst driving and we’d therefore urge anyone with information to come forward so that we can investigate further.
“Our mobile phones policy is very clear that hand held or hands free mobile devices must not be used whilst driving and compliance with this policy is mandatory. We insist that drivers’ mobile phones are switched off or switched to silent, and put out of sight to avoid any distractions. In the event that a call must be made to the operations team then the vehicle should be parked in a safe place with the engine switched off”.
Asked whether the incident would result in any action being taken against First York, a University spokesperson told Vision: “The safety of our students, staff and visitors when using public transport is of paramount importance. The incident is a matter for First York who we understand have been made aware of the alleged incident and are appealing for anyone with information to come forward.
“It would be inappropriate to comment further until the full details of the incident are known”.