“Would you be happy to have your spouse, mother, father, children or constituent travel on an expressway bus being driven by someone who counts his cash takings with both hands as the bus speeds through the countryside at 80kph?”
This was the question a Mr. Bill Murphy asked every TD in the country after he witnessed a bus driver steering his vehicle at speed with his elbows. (Today with Pat Kenny, Thursday)
Mr. Murphy put the question to TDs after heroically trying every other avenue in an attempt to have this bus driver brought to account. Here’s a brief outline of his efforts.
7TH June: (Date of incident) Sent comment form to Bus Eireann. No reply.
End of June: Sent copy to Road Safety Authority. Received letter from Noel Brett, CEO of RSA indicating that he had written to Bus Eireann asking them to deal with Mr. Murphy’s complaint.
6TH July: Received letter from Marketing, Sales and External Communications Department (Phew!) saying that comments were sent to Cork and they would be in touch.
Received letter from Cork saying that their chief inspector would interview the driver. A month has passed and the driver hasn’t even been interviewed? (How many people could have died in that month due to this dangerous practice?)
7TH August: (Two months after the incident). Sent copy of all correspondence to Mr. Tim Hayes, CEO Bus Eireann and Noel Brett of RSA. Received acknowledgement from RSA – Silence from Bus Eireann.
Travelled personally to Dail Eireann to deliver the above question to TDs.
Let’s deal with the bus driver first. There is no way to be nice about this dangerous idiot. He should be fired immediately, charged with dangerous driving and banned for life from being in charge of a vehicle where he would be responsible for the lives of dozens of people.
The management personnel in Bus Eireann should also be fired for failing to protect the safety of commuters.
A bit harsh? Bring to mind television pictures of mangled bodies being removed from wrecked buses.
Amazingly, Pat Kenny expressed sympathy for the driver claiming that perhaps all Bus Eireann drivers drive with their elbows and this man was ‘unfortunate’ in being singled out.
Mr. Murphy is to be congratulated, not just for his efforts to save lives, but also for his persistence against a wall of uncaring bureaucracy.
4 thoughts on “Death bus”
Speaking as an ex Bus Driver I do share some of your concerns however it must be noted that with the reducing wages (in real terms) and increasing pressures on Bus Drivers et al it is not surprising in the least that Drivers are ‘cashing up’ whilst on the move.
I myself did so on many occasions while in Passenger service. There used to be a time when Drivers had ‘booking on time’ i.e. time to sign on for their duty and check safety notices etc. this has now been stopped to increase productivity (And profits) there was also a time at the end of ones duty for ‘cashing up’. Although the cashing up time still exists it has been cut to the bone so that most Drivers end up doing it in their own time. If they can do it on the move it means that after their 8 or 9 hours driving they might get back to their family at a semi respectable time.
I fully accept that it is dangerous and somewhat irresponsible for Drivers to do such things whilst in passenger service but I cannot accept your assertion that the Driver be “Sacked”. You do not know the circumstances and more importantly perhaps you should be focusing on getting a better deal for Drivers who are being ripped off by a very rich state.
Speaking as a not infrequent commuter who regularly puts his life in the hands of ‘professional’ drivers, I have to disagree with you Peader.
The health and safety of passengers in the drivers charge is an infinite of light years more important than any other consideration.
After have you imagined news reports of broken bodies being taken from the wreckage, imagine going to the families of those killed and injured and explaining.
Your loved is dead/mutilated for life because;
My wages weren’t good
Management put me under pressure
I wanted to spend time with my family
The State was treating me unfairly
Don’t think the reception would be too friendly
Totally agree with your assertions re. the grieving family however there are not many people in whatever profession who focus on a minute by minute basis on the worst possible case scenario were they to take a shortcut or make a mistake.
When Bus Drivers are underpaid and have huge pressures put upon them to get the job done quickly or be financially penalised then it is understandable (not right) that they take shortcuts and cut corners so that they are not working in their own time.
Again as I said what needs to change is the culture of putting profit before safety. The companies who are making millions need to start treating their staff as humans and they need to appreciate that those humans have family lives. Give Drivers time to do their jobs correctly without penalising them when they are delayed beyond their control, then and only then will you reduce the chances of Drivers taking chances.
Hi Lads I”m a driver with Bus Eireann so I”m quite interested with what ye have to say however I have a few points to make.. 1.Who the hell is this Bill Murphy guy and how do we know he was telling the truth a bout what he saw that day?perhaps he had a grudge with the driver from a previous run in and decided to cause trouble for the man?? 2.Apart from the tragic accident in 2005 in Navan which was later proven to be a fault with the bus ABS system and not driver error when was the there a fatal accident of that scale before then.As far as I”m aware it was sometime in the 70″s in a place called Glounthane in Co.Cork,9 lives were lost and again the driver was cleared,as a matter a fact that driver is still driving for the company today 3.Anthony you seem to have a bit of a bee on your bonnett so I suggest that maybe you find alternative transport,you sound to me like a very problematic customer that spends a lot of his time complaining so I”d say your bus driver would be over the moon to see the back of ya.. Find a hobby for yourself,[Fishing]? 4.I have been driving for Bus Eireann for a number of years and yes there are some tempermental drivers who sometimes have a very wrong attitude towards the customers but each and every 1 of us takes safety very seriosly..
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