Bus driver avoids ban after crash

Court: Driver given £147 fine after col­li­sion with car in Wer­ring­ton

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Front Page - By Stephen Briggs stephen.briggs@peter­bor­oughto­day.co.uk Twit­ter: @PTstephenB

Abus driver who drove his ve­hi­cle through a red light and smashed into a car has avoided a driv­ing ban. Philip Onions (21) ad­mit ted driv­ing with­out due care and at­ten­tion after the ac­ci­dent on David’s Lane, Wer­ring­ton.

A bus driver has avoided a driv­ing ban after caus­ing a crash be­tween his bus and a car which saw the dou­ble decker drive through a red traf­fic light. Philip Onions (21) Hixs Lane, Tydd St. Mary, pleaded guilty to one count of driv­ing with­out due care and at­ten­tion at Peter­bor­ough Mag­is­trates’ Court on Tues­day.

The crash hap­pened on March 3 this year on David’s Lane, Wer­ring­ton.

The col­li­sion was cap­tured on a dash-cam­era fit­ted to the Peu­geot which was hit by the Stage­coach bus.

Onions, a dad of three, failed to stop at a red traf­fic light, and col­lided with the car while his bus was car­ry­ing school chil­dren home.

The fe­male driver of the Peu­geot suf­fered arm in­juries, and a bus pas­sen­ger was also hurt in the crash.

Eye­wit­nesses said there were about 20 school chil­dren on board at the time, as well as other pas­sen­gers.

But de­spite the col­li­sion, Onions was given a last chance to stay on the road, with mag­is­trates leav­ing him with 11 points on his li­cence - one short of the 12 which would leave him fac­ing a driv­ing dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tion.

Kelly Shim­men, prose­cut­ing, told the court the driver was driv­ing the dou­ble decker bus on Good­iwn Walk when the col­li­sion oc­curred at Davids Lane.

She said: “The junc­tion is con­trolled by traf­fic lights-the lights for the Peu­geot were on green, and for the bus they were on red.

“We say this was bor­der­ing on dan­ger­ous driv­ing, as the bus was car­ry­ing pas­sen­gers, there were in­juries, and dam­age was caused.”

Onions, who wore a blue suit to court, and was sup­ported by fam­ily mem­bers, was sacked shortly after the crash.

The court was told Onions at­tended to the pas­sen­ger who was in­jured and the driver of the Peu­goet, mak­ing sure the emer­gency ser­vices had been called.

Mr Jef­fers, de­fend­ing, said Onions had faced a dif­fi­cult year, with the loss of his fa­ther and the birth of a child.

He said: “Mr Onions had worked for Stage­coach for 14 months. He has been a driver for 13 of those months.

“He is autistic and his pas­sion is for ve­hi­cles.

“He had worked at Ford as a parts man­u­fac­turer. He has now lost his job and is work­ing as an ap­pren­tice welder.

“On his bus on the day were school chil­dren, who were play­ing with the bell.

“He had stopped at a bus stop 200 me­tres be­fore, as he was alerted by the bell. No-one got on or off. He moved on, all the while with the bell ring­ing in his ears. “He is full of re­morse.” The court was told ve­hi­cles were Onions’ pas­sion, and he had al­ways wanted to be a pro­fes­sional driver-some­thing he ac­cepted he would­not be able to do now.

Onions wrote a let­ter to the driver of the Peu­geot, say­ing he felt ‘sick’ when he watched the dash cam footage of the crash, and told the driver he was ‘deeply sorry.’

The court was also told Onions needed to drive to get to work, as he lived in a small vil­lage with poor pub­lic trans­port con­nec­tions.

Mag­is­trate Chris­tine Shaw said: “Be­cause you were driv­ing a bus, this makes it more se­ri­ous.

“But we won’t dis­qual­ify you.

“You are re­morse­ful, and you did try to be sure the peo­ple were all right.”

Onions, who al­ready had three points on his li­cence, was given a fur­ther eight points, tak­ing his to­tal to 11 points. The­court was not told what he had re­ceived the three points for.

He was also fined £147 and or­dered to pay £85 costs and a sur­charge of £20. He was given 14 days to pay the money to the court.

Philip Onions

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