Lothian Buses driver fined after OAP fell when he moved off too quickly

A bus on Princes Street - not the one involved in the incident. Picture: Greg Macvean
A bus on Princes Street - not the one involved in the incident. Picture: Greg Macvean
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A BUS driver left an 86-year-old passenger with a cut to the head after he drove off too quickly from a stop.

William Fraser was behind the wheel of a Lothian Buses double decker when he pulled away from the bus stop on Princes Street.

Pensioner Patricia Napier had just boarded the number 11 service when she lost her balance was sent flying.

The 86-year-old OAP hit her head on an upright metal rail and had to be rushed to hospital for treatment following the incident on June 8 last year.

After the pensioner’s fall Fraser was said to have rushed from his driver’s cab to help administer first aid to the injured woman.

The incident took place just 24 hours before 86-year-old May Porter was killed after the Edinburgh bus she had been a passenger on had to brake sharply to avoid a collision with a car near to the city’s prison.

Fraser defended himself and admitted a charge of driving the bus without due care and attention when he appeared at Edinburgh Sheriff Court yesterday.

Fiscal depute Nicole Lavelle told the court Fraser was in control of the double decker as he made his way along Princes Street in heavy rain at around 10am.

The fiscal said: “The locus of the incident was Princes Street, between Castle Street and Frederick Street. It was raining heavily and the surface was wet.

“The accused was driving a number 11 bus along Princes Street where he stopped to allow passengers to alight and board the vehicle.

“The witness was hurried to board the bus and as she made her way to a seat using the upright bars for support the bus began to move off.

“Due to the unexpected movement of the bus Ms Napier lost her balance and hit hear head off the upright pole causing a laceration above her right eye.”

Ms Lavelle added 59-year-old Fraser stopped the bus a soon as he was made aware of the pensioner’s fall in a bid to help the injured woman.

An ambulance was called and Mrs Napier was taken to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary for treatment to the cut above her right eyebrow where the wound was closed using tissue glue.

Fraser was forced to take a breath test at the side of the road by police officers where the reading was zero.

Yesterday the bus driver told Sheriff Alison Stirling that he “needed his licence to keep his job” and that he had sent a letter to the court where he stated he “deeply regretted” causing the injury to the OAP.

Sheriff Stirling said: “Having regard to the nature of this careless driving, I regard it to be at the lower end of the scale.

“Although it did have alarming consequences for the old woman involved so I am going to endorse your licence with penalty points and fine you.”

The sheriff fined Fraser a total of £300 and imposed three penalty points on his driving licence.