Saturday, 13 May 2017

Moral dilemma

So I am on that local bus again; grateful for the regular service from town to our village. BUT I am a trained workplace assessor and spent 10 plus years watching people working to an efficient(or not) standard.  So this is what I observed over 20 minute journey:
1. A colleague of the bus driver is on board and has chatted with him all the time he is taking fares etc. Stands next to the driver and chats when we set off. In front of that line and the notice that says "do not speak to driver or distract them".  Ok, I have often seen bus staff do this. Common practice but not best practice.
2. Driver takes 3 sharp bends and one right turn junction with one hand clearly on his bus cab support and only one hand on the wheel. OK,  Don't fuss.  No husband often does one handed thing when driving.  I am a nervous 10 to 3 wheel clutcher.
3, We enter the fast straight stretch between villages, and he speeds, up a lot. Colleague receives a text message on her smart phone. She holds it in front of the driver for him to read and share. They laugh and exchange comments.

I got off a few minutes later with a sense of relief.

When I went indoors to find my husband having coffee and watching programme about bad driving on the A1 which, after my morning, did not look that bad but the emphasis was on the dramatic consequences. When it had finished, we discussed my observations and agreed 3 was probably illegal (Reading a text while driving? or, is it receiving and accepting and reading a text?).

So I confess. I emailed my comments to the bus company. I am feeling very guilty - was it bad enough to endanger their jobs?  Or am I Mrs Fussy who has spent too long "judging" people at work?  (I did end up changing careers to get away from that role as judge! )  But then if something had happened unexpectedly at just the wrong moment would the driver be able to react? Was I really a dissatisfied customer - my journey was free, quick, and I was not harmed?

I used my husband's email as my operating system is the same as the NHS one that got hacked so I did not want to turn my PC on.  His reaction was "Thanks, now I will be the one to get the hate mail".  I pointed out if he had driven me to town I would not have been on the bus in the first place!


  1. I travelled regularly by village bus many years ago and there was always someone standing up the front nattering to the driver but at least it was before mobile phones!
    I think letting the company know was the right thing and I would have been glad to have got off too. Hope it's not the same driver next time!

  2. Damned if you do and damned if you don't. Sometimes people need a wake up call to make them aware of their behaviour. I don't think they'll be sacked but they will probably be made aware which is no bad thing. We all hear of instances were people say they knew it was an accident waiting to happen.

  3. you did the right thing, I am in total agreement, thees rules are there for the safety of passengers and other road users.

  4. No you absolutely did the right thing - people who work in 'public service' roles should always follow procedure especially when it involves the safety of the public - to fail to do so is just(as you said) a case of waiting for an accident to happen xx

  5. Just think how you would feel if you hadn't reported it and the same driver caused an accident which injured, or killed, someone next week.
    Not only would you feel guilty for ignoring his behaviour but lives would have been disrupted and he may well suffer guilt for the rest of his life.
    You did the right thing. Sue

  6. In Canada ( or at least in my province)one can not use a phone or even look at a phone while driving (it's call distracted driving)without getting a fine and demerits against your drivers abstract. The fine is not small either.

    God bless.

  7. Such a difficult one, Trish. You are caught between the devil and the deep blue sea as my mother used to say. The driver could lose his job, and you would feel guilty. He may cause injury through an accident - you'd feel guilty then too. I think, in reality, he will probably receive a reprimand and be told that this must not happen again. tell yourself this and hopefully you will feel batter about it. Eloise at


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