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SMS driver’s court date set

A texting Sydney bus driver appears in court on April 16 for allegedly endangering passengers’ lives, say police

February 29, 2012

A Sydney bus driver who allegedly texted while driving a bus containing 27 passengers will appear in Parramatta Local Court on April 16.

The 49-year-old male bus driver from Bossley Park has been charged with using a mobile phone while driving, and driving in a manner dangerous to the public.

A police spokeswoman says texting while driving a bus load of passengers is ‘much worse’ than simply texting while driving a car.

“We’ve got some guy on a bus in excess of 14 tonne, and he’s got 27 passengers on board, and he’s endangering people’s lives,” she says.

The alleged incident occurred while the ‘bendy’ bus was travelling on the M2 at about 4.50pm on December 12, 2011 between Sydney’s CBD and the Hills District.

Police launched an investigation after video footage of the alleged incident was supplied to numerous media outlets, including Nine News, in January.

The two-minute recording appears to show the driver taking both hands off the wheel several times while scrolling and pressing buttons on his phone.

The police spokeswoman says she cannot comment on the frequency of these types of incidents on buses, as police statistics do not show the vehicle type driven during an offence.

“The stats don’t differentiate whether it’s a semitrailer a truck or a car,” she says.

“And god knows how many people are caught driving with a mobile phone in their normal car.”

The Hillsbus driver has been suspended, but Hillsbus CEO and former NSW Transport Director-General Jim Glasson declined to comment further.

Hillsbus is a subsidiary of CDC, Sydney’s second largest bus operator after the State Transit Authority (STA).

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