Coach Firm Probed Over Video of Driver on Phone at 60mph on Autobahn
Footage of a coach driver using his cell phone as he ferries passengers along a busy highway at 60mph is being investigated by authorities.
The video was taken back in October after horrified passengers realized their driver was using his phone on the busy German autobahn as he drove them through Europe on a 10 day trip from the UK to Croatia.
According to the Daily Post, the driver was apparently dealing with paperwork on the device.
Now the directors of the coach company, Arvonia Coaches, based in Wales, UK are being hauled before an inquiry panel later in January.
At one point the footage shows the driver on his device as the vehicle heads through rain and heavy traffic, at speeds of around 60mph.
William Jones, who took the footage, told the Daily Post that the traffic was very close at the time.
“My wife and I were in the front seats of the coach and on the journey to the Channel Tunnel he was driving very close to other vehicles,” Jones said. “So close, in fact, he clipped one small lorry and this was enough to misalign the coach wing mirrors on the driver’s side.”
“He had to pull off the motorway to reset them and explained to the passengers on the coach, there were 28 of us in all, that it had been the other driver’s fault.”
Another video clip was filmed in the driver’s rear view mirror which shows him again using the phone and only glancing up at the road ahead.
Jones showed the footage to the driver at the time, who he said became angry.
“He said ‘I’ll have you thrown off the coach’. He was very angry and after returning home I contacted the company and later visited to show then the footage and to voice my concerns about the other incidents.”
“I asked for a letter of apology be sent to all those on the trip but we’ve received nothing,” he said.
At the time a manager for the firm said a “thorough internal investigation” had taken place and disciplinary action had been taken, according to the Post.
Now, however, the company’s directors, Rhiannon and Marcus Stokes, have been ordered to appear at a public inquiry in Welshpool later this month for possible breach of the law.
“The Traffic Commissioner will consider a report from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency and an incident involving a company driver and the apparent use of a mobile phone whilst driving,” a spokesperson for the comission said, according to the Post.