Driving without due care and attention

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jpts | 13:34 Tue 15th Jul 2008 | Road rules
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I am a new bus driver. I was driving my bus when I came to a stop at traffic lights on an extremely busy junction. There were three lanes, one to turn left (My lane) the other to go straight on or turn right and the other for oncoming traffic. As I started to pull off I noticed in my right mirror the side of my bus seemed to be touching another vehicle. I immediately stopped, I was travelling at about 5 miles per hour before I stopped. As the junction was very busy, and at the top of a steep hill I feared that getting off the bus there would put myself, my passengers and other road users at risk. I still wasn't sure whether I had made any contact with the other vehicle, I probably did. The other vehicle then moved over to the right which then I could see a clear gap between us, and we pulled off together. Just round the corner I immediately pulled over in a safe place to talk to the other driver. The other driver did not follow me. I immediately reported the incident and filled out an accident form at work. Myself and my superiors simply thought that if I had collided with the other vehicle they would soon be in contact. Instead I am now being charged with driving without due care and attention, failing to stop at the scene and not reporting the incident. Yes, the other driver just contacted the police instead of dealing with it direct with my company. I had no intention of hiding anything, just a stupid mistake by me. When I plead guilty, obviousy I will loose my job and licence, but am i also probably going to loose my car licence? Any advice please!!


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It seems to me that your behaviour was entirely reasonable, so I would hope you are facing merely a modest fine and the inevitable points, but surely not loss of licence and job !! Far too extreme.
Question Author
Thanks for your reply. Actually i'm not sure if this is how to reply to you, but here i am!! As a new bus driver I am allowed only six points, obviously anymore I will loose my licence, thus my job, worrying eh?
Do you already have points on your licence?
Get your union rep onto it now
Who do you work for?
Once I know this I can help you further
Question Author
To Lakitu
No, no points, never had an accident - until now!

To pink-kittens
Thanks for your reply, Veolia Transport
As an HGV driver, I had a similar experience several years ago. It was impractical to stop where I was, so pulled round the corner to swap addresses etc with the other driver (It was other drivers fault in this case). Have you contacted or been contacted by the Police yet? If not, I would get on to them and make a statement. From what you describe I would say you took a totally legitemate course of action. You could also mention that the other party failed to stop as well. Also agree that you should enlist the aid of your union rep. If all you did was do a 'bit' of damage to the other vehicle I cannot see how this can be construed as driving without due care and should certainly not be a sackable offence.
Question Author
thanks sddsddean for your reply. As far as the damage is concerned I can only repeat what my company has told me, apparently from the other driver, that the damage was very minimal. Nobody from my company or myself has actually seen the damage. The police have already sent me paperwork to ascertain that I was the driver and forms to tell me the charges I will be facing. I have sent them a written statement, saying what I have already written here. The officer has stated that they intend to prosecute. I did mention to them that the other driver also did not stop, it seemed to be irrelevant to them. I will only get the sack if I loose my new licence. Appreciate your comments.
From what you say there was no personal injury suffered by any party as a reult of the incident to which you refer, and it is also unclear to me whether any damage was caused to the other vehicle (apart from the bus you were driving at the time). In all the circumtances, the offences you describe are triable summarily and are punishable with a fine. As for disqualification this is discretionary so in all probability you will be able to keep your job, maintain your licence and carry on in much the same way as before. Good Luck !
Ah, OK
Sorry can't help on the company front but if you belong to the TGWU contact them. They will provide you with a solicitor FOC plus they will also represent you in court

Lot's of wing mirrors per month must be hit and damaged by cars, buses and lorries and I find it ludicrous you are being charged with this. You will have the date of reporting on your accident report form at work - this will help and og in your favour.

Do you not have CCTV on your bus/es?
just plead not guilty, they'll drop it. There is no case here it's a small bump at most. On that basis every accident would be due care prosecution. Plod love to bully you with this, plead not guilty to all of it, you did stop, you did report it and you did drive with care and attention, it's a small accident, plod will back off if you plead not guilty.
Question Author
Thanks voltr4m4x. Nobody injured whatsoever, thanks for the encouragement.

pink-kittens - Thanks for getting back, much appreciated, i'm a member of UNITE the Union.

R1Geezer - Wish I had your confidence. It does seem unbelievable, and I have also thought in the same lines as you, if I loose this case then every single other accident, minor or else, should be prosecuted under due care and attention. I'm not justifying my driving but there have been far more serious accidents....always had crap luck!

New car licence holders are only allowed 6 points, but I don't believe this applies to new PSV licences. How long have you held a car licence?

I agree with R1Geezer - plead not guilty. You did stop as soon as reasonable, but the other party did not. I speak as a PSV and HGV licence holder

There's clear provision under the law for you to find a safe place to stop. Was there anyone else on the bus who could act as your witness? Did you report the other driver for leaving the scene of an accident?
Question Author
Panic Button - Thanks for your reply. Unfortunately the six points does apply to any new licence holder for that category. I have held a full UK car licence since my 17th birthday, 17 years ago - time flies.

Houdi - Thanks for getting in touch. There were passengers on board, about 15 - 20 but nobody I knew or thought about asking. My wife was on board and came to speak to me to see why I had pulled over but being my wife the police or court probably won't believe her. The other driver has apparently said she could not follow me because she was in the wrong lane. Probably didn't try hard enough and thought "stuff him I'll phone the police", which is what she did. Live and learn eh?

Hi jpts

At least you were aware of what was going on.

A few years back a friend of ours was in town and a bus decided not to stop at a set give way lines this was a one-way system he clipped our friends car but did not stop.

We told our friend to to report it to the police he said what was the point as he did not have the bus reg number or id number.

12 days later he had an NIP from the police, he ended up with 6 points and a �350 fine, not good situation considering the bus driver did not intend to stop, it turns out that all our local bus's have CCTV and that's how they got our friends registration.

So credit where it's due to you for at least trying to do the right thing and not just drive off.
Question Author
B Rubble - Thanks for that bit of insight. It's truly unbelievable. If I read the post write your friend was the victim, the one who got hit? Words cannot express how stupid that is. So the poor guy had basically a hit and run happen to him and for the privilege points and a hefty fine. I might as well hang my licence up, join the dole queue and become an alcoholic just for good measure judging by this!
The world's just gone nuts.
You understood me right, but we told him to report it to the police as the vehicle that hit him was a public service vehicle, but he wouldn't listen.

All in all my opinion of the police isn't very high at the best of times (bad experience myslef) but when I hear of things like this it really winds me up.
Question Author
B Rubble - I agree with you. People who are genuine and try and do the right thing seem to be penalised heavily, talk about overkill. Whatever my outcome I have learned a very worrying, troublesome and probably costly lesson. At an accident stop where you are, even if it means playing dodgems with other vehicles, swap details and report immediately to the police, from a tiny scratch to a full on collision. People are unpredictable and sometimes devious. We all need to cover our backs, sad but true.
I take it this happened today, if you are anything like me you won't get much sleep tonight, the way I finally managed to get some sleep was to snuggle up to my other half the security I found from that was GREAT...

All I can say is my thought's are with you, and I hope the out come isn't too bad. let us know how you go on.
were you in your lane? If you were then he wasn't, which suggests it wasn't you driving carelessly. And from memory (though you'd do better hearing from a proper lawyer on this), stopping at the nearest safe place, when it's just round the corner, is still stopping within the meaning of the law

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