Bus driver admits careless driving in Norwich

Norwich Magistrates Courts. Photo: Bill Smith

Norwich Magistrates Courts. Photo: Bill Smith

Archant © 2011

A bus driver allowed his vehicle to roll down a busy street while he talked to three schoolgirls on board, and then had to slam the brakes on to avoid colliding with another coach, a court heard.

Graham Light, 54, from Worthing Road, Lowestoft, pleaded guilty to careless driving when he appeared at Norwich magistrates court yesterday.

Prosecutor Denis King said Light’s bus was parked in Ipswich Road, near City College Norwich, on February 17 waiting to pick up passengers, when three girls he knew jumped on board to talk to him.

He said: “One of the girls was standing in the aisle between the seats, when the bus started to move slightly. “This girl said Light was sitting sideways on the driver’s seat. The handbrake must have been released and it started rolling down an incline, and there was an Anglian Coaches bus parked just in front.

“The girl said that Light was being an idiot and showing off and had no feet on the pedals.

“When Light slammed his brakes on this girl fell over landing near to the entrance door on the floor. Had the door not ben shut she would have rolled onto the pavement.

“She was taken to hospital with a bruised foot. The second teenager was also standing up on the bus and fell over when the brakes were slammed on. She landed on her back and caught her right arm and attended hospital with bruises.

“The third girl described the same incident and said that while the bus was rolling forward, Light had no feet on the pedals and no hands on the steering wheel. She suffered a bruised hip.”

For Light, Matthew Sorel-Cameron said he had been a professional bus/coach driver for nine years and had no previous accidents. He had worked for Ambassador Travel for four years, primarily doing the school run.

He said: “When the bus moved it was only travelling between 5 and 10kmph and it only rolled a few metres. It was a clear lapse of concentration.

“He had many things on his mind which might have affected his driving.”

Magistrates told Light that it could potentially have been disastrous and suggested that he had been talking to the girls and not paying attention. His licence was endorsed with six points and he was fined £225, plus a £15 victim surcharge, and ordered to pay £100 costs.

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