Appeal for changes to law after bus crash kills two people - The Leamington Observer

Appeal for changes to law after bus crash kills two people

Leamington Editorial 13th Feb, 2019   0

CHANGES could be made to limit the amount of time worked by bus drivers after a 77-year-old ploughed into a supermarket killing two people including a Leamington youngster.

Rowan Fitzgerald, was just seven-years-old when the double decker he was travelling on crashed into Sainsburys in Coventry city centre killing the former St Anthony’s School pupil, and 76-year-old pedestrian Dora Hancox from Nuneaton.

Stagecoach driver Kailash Chander, a former Leamington mayor, was found to have been driving the bus dangerously in a trial of the facts – after being found medically unfit to actually stand trial.

The court heard he had been working around 75 hours a week at the time.

And after meetings with Rowan’s family, Warwick and Leamington MP Matt Western is today (Wednesday) set to introduce a Parliamentary Bill seeking to limit the hours worked by bus drivers.

They can currently drive for 130 hours over the course of two weeks – no more than ten hours a day, and including a full 24 hours off from behind the wheel.

But Mr Western and the Fitzgerald family want the law changed to allow drivers to work no more than 90 hours in a fortnight.

A family spokesperson said: “We strongly feel that there should be a change to the current law. If this proposal had been in place on October 3 2015, then perhaps our beautiful boy Rowan and Dora Hancox, who were both killed in this tragic bus crash, would be alive today.”

Mr Western said while it was unlikely the bill would pass into law at this stage he hoped it would be the first step to get government to adopt the new legislation.

He said: “I was shocked to hear of the case with the Coventry bus crash and have been working with Rowan’s family since late last year on this issue.

“Our laws around working hours for local bus drivers clearly aren’t keeping the public safe and it’s time to legislate to make sure another two people aren’t killed the next time a bus driver is asked to work too many hours than is safe.”


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