A Brisbane bus driver has been recorded watching a video on a mobile phone while driving, sparking a heated public debate. The incident, deemed "disappointing, dangerous, and clearly unacceptable" by Brisbane City Council (BCC), was filmed by a passenger on Saturday.
The footage, which was filmed from a front passenger seat and uploaded to TikTok, shows the driver wearing earphones, with a phone lodged under the steering wheel. He can be seen glancing between the road and the phone screen as he drives the Carindale-bound 222 bus.
Responding to a viewer who argued the driver could still be focused on the road, the woman who shared the video claimed, "This is illegal, he was watching a show, whilst operating a large vehicle with public passengers. I thought he was sleeping, and then when I looked closer he was looking down, at his phone."
Viewers defend bus driver
While many outraged social media users called for the driver to be sacked, scores came to his defence, suggesting he was capable of safely driving the bus. "He has probably done that same bus route over a million times, he personally knows every stone on the road, I'd feel safe," commented one viewer.
Another remarked, "Leave him alone, he's getting his work done," to which the poster of the video responded, "I don't think watching TV whilst operating a heavy vehicle is in his job description."
Driver stood down
Translink, Queensland's public transport agency, addressed the incident hours after it occurred, saying they'd notified the driver's employer. "Translink has been made aware of a TikTok video involving a service operated by one of our delivery partners, Brisbane City Council," a statement from Translink reads.
"Upon being made aware of the video, Translink immediately raised the matter with Brisbane City Council, who employ the driver, so an investigation can be undertaken. Translink expects all bus drivers to adhere to Queensland road rules at all times."
A Brisbane City Council spokesperson confirmed in a statement that an investigation was underway and the driver had been identified and stood down. "These actions from a professional driver are disappointing, dangerous and clearly unacceptable," the spokesperson said.
The penalty for using a phone while driving is four demerit points and a fine of $1,078.
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