Posted by andrewt
Stagecoach bus driver Ross Ralph, 35, was talkingÂ on his phone when he crashed his double decker bus into a low bridge a court heard yesterday. The accident, which happened with aÂ ith a passenger on the top deck, resulted in theÂ Â£47,000 vehicle being written off.
Ralph, 35Â was caught on CCTV, speaking on his mobile phone for over 10 seconds as he plughed his busÂ into a railway bridge onÂ April 4th 2015.
Jordan McBain, the passenger who was on the bus’s upper deck, had a lucky escape as the roof of the bus crumpled into the bridge.
Ralph was sacked by the bus company after the incident , theÂ Inverness Sheriff Court heard yesterday.
However, he was allowed to keep his licence after admitting talking on a mobile phone andÂ careless driving which caused him to collide with the bridge, collapsing the roof of the bus.
Laura Ryan told the court that the bus was 13ft high, but the bridge near Balloch in Invernesshire,Â Â had a height restriction of 11ft 3in.
She said that “CCTV on the bus filmed Ross Ralph with headphones on and talking on his mobile phone for 12 seconds before the collision”.
â€œHe was obviously distracted by being on his mobile phone at the time. Fortunately, no one was injured. There were stickers on the bus reminding the driver of the height of the vehicle. The cost of replacing the bus was Â£47,000.â€
John MacColl, defending, told the court thatÂ â€œNo one at Stagecoach told him to change vehicle. Normally he would have been driving a single decker on that route and in his own mind, he was.â€
Jordan, 24, of Croy, said: â€œWe were getting closer and I realised we werenâ€™t going to make it. At the last minute I ducked down and heard this massive bang”. He continued “The adrenaline was pumping and it is only in the aftermath that I realised how dangerous it was.â€
Ralph, of Inverness, was fined Â£500 and received eight penalty points on his licence.