An unknown CityBus driver working in Plymouth could very well lose his commercial driver licence if investigators are able to identify him from video footage taken by a car passenger. According to the May 20 edition of the Plymouth Herald, the driver in question was recorded handling what appeared to be a thin piece of paper and some tobacco as his vehicle was moving in traffic.
News reports indicate the bus was originally stopped when a car pulled up alongside it. The passenger noticed the driver handling material in his lap, continuing to do so even as traffic began moving forward. A mobile phone was used by the car passenger to record everything that happened as they travelled along Outland Road, north of the city centre.
CityBus officials are obviously very concerned about what appears to be dangerous driving by one of their company drivers. Commercial manager Peter Oliver told the Plymouth Herald that CityBus does not tolerate any dangerous activity by their drivers, including talking on mobile phones, rolling cigarettes, or smoking. He promised the company has good procedures in place to deal with infractions.
This particular driver risks losing both his licence and his job if he is unable to adequately explain his actions. Moreover, even an acceptable explanation might still result in disciplinary action by CityBus. Road safety and company liability are just too important to allow dangerous driving practices to continue.
The most shocking thing about this story is the unacceptable carelessness displayed by the driver in question. If he was indeed engaged in dangerous driving, he was likely doing so with full knowledge of how seriously these things are taken by employers and courts. Such a demonstration of carelessness could jeopardise any future employment should CityBus sack this driver.
If the driver is eventually identified and loses his licence, even for a short period, a permanent public record will be established – a permanent record that will follow him for his lifetime. Other bus companies using licence checking software will quickly know that this man's licence was revoked for a time. Any explanation he attempts to offer may not be enough to overcome his driving record.
At the time of this writing, police or CityBus have still not identified the driver. We suspect that will change in the very near future. The company will likely be able to identify the driver from a combination of the video footage and their own data regarding which buses were operating on which routes. In the meantime, the remainder of the company's drivers will probably see the story as a wake-up call to monitor their own driving practices.