FILMED DRIVING COACH WHILE ON MOBILE PHONE
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