FILMED DRIV­ING COACH WHILE ON MO­BILE PHONE

Caernarfon Herald - - NEWS -

A GROUP of North Wales coach pas­sen­gers were hor­ri­fied when they saw their driver us­ing his mo­bile phone while on a busy mo­tor­way.

The Ar­vo­nia Coaches driver was filmed ap­par­ently deal­ing with pa­per­work on the de­vice dur­ing a trip to Croa­tia.

The ve­hi­cle was driv­ing in heavy traffic along an au­to­bahn – a Ger­man equiv­a­lent of a mo­tor­way that has no speed limit – when the pas­sen­gers saw what was go­ing on.

It was one of a num­ber of in­ci­dents which con­cerned pas­sen­ger Wil­liam Jones – who filmed the driver’s ac­tions – dur­ing the 10-day trip.

A man­ager for the firm said a “thor­ough in­ter­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tion” had taken place and dis­ci­plinary ac­tion had been taken.

In one se­quence, the coach is seen be­ing driven along a two-lane mo­tor­way some­where in Ger­many at speeds of over 60mph. It was rain­ing and the driver, Sean Davies, is seen do­ing some­thing on the phone.

An­other clip was filmed in the driv- er’s rear view mir­ror which shows him again us­ing the phone and only glanc­ing up at the road ahead.

Mr Jones, from Llangefni, said: “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 – 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.

“On the re­turn jour­ney through Ger­many, the coach was in heavy traffic and he used the sat-nav to find an­other route. This took us along nar­row, coun­try roads and, at one point, came to a low bridge. The clear­ance was just four me­tres and he low­ered the bus sus­pen­sion to get through.

“Other driv­ers flashed their lights and pointed at the coach and it later be­came ob­vi­ous this was be­cause there was a bridge with a weight re­stric­tion fur­ther on. This was about three tons and the coach was at least 15 tons. That’s when I de­cided to keep a closer eye on him and the man­ner of his driv­ing.”

He added: “After the Chan­nel, he ap­peared to be­come ex­as­per­ated by the heavy traffic and was con­tin­u­ally rais­ing his hands in frus­tra­tion.”

Mr Jones said he spoke with the driver about the al­leged in­ci­dents and showed him some of the footage.

“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 them the footage and to voice my con­cerns. I asked for a letter of apol­ogy be sent to all those on the trip but we’ve re­ceived noth­ing.”

Sion Stokes, general man­ager of Caernar­fon-based Ar­vo­nia, said: “I can con­firm that Mr Jones did con­tact us shortly after he re­turned from his hol­i­day to Croa­tia in July.

“We im­me­di­ately con­ducted a thor­ough in­ter­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tion, util­is­ing all in­for­ma­tion avail­able to us, and, sub­se­quently, fol­low­ing the results of this in­ves­ti­ga­tion, ap­pro­pri­ate ac­tion was taken to ad­dress this mat­ter ac­cord­ingly through our com­pany dis­ci­plinary pro­ce­dures.”

The com­pany said driver Mr Davies was not avail­able for com­ment.

● As well as be­ing caught on his phone, pas­sen­gers made a se­ries of other al­le­ga­tions about Sean Davies

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