Family of 7-y-o bus crash victim hopeful of law change - The Rugby Observer

Family of 7-y-o bus crash victim hopeful of law change

Rugby Editorial 26th Feb, 2019 Updated: 26th Feb, 2019   0

THE FAMILY of a youngster killed in a bus crash are hopeful a change will be made to the law to limit the hours worked by bus drivers.

Kailash Chander ploughed a double decker into Sainsbury’s supermarket in Coventry city centre in October 2015 killing seven-year-old passenger Rowan Fitzgerald, from Leamington, and 76-year-old pedestrian Dora Hancox.

Warwick and Leamington MP Matt Western has introduced a Parliamentary Bill seeking to limit the hours worked by bus drivers.

It followed a trial of the facts which found Stagecoach driver Mr Chander, who was 77 at the time, had been driving the bus dangerously and been working around 75 hours a week at the time. The former Leamington mayor was found medically unfit to stand trial.

And when the bill was recently heard in parliament it received cross party support from nearly 30 MPs. It was also backed by road safety charity Brake.

Rowan’s mum Natasha Wilson and grandmother Barbara Fitzgerald were in the House of Commons to hear the bill introduced.

The next step for the bill towards being made law will see Mr Western contact the relevant minister.

He said: “I was shocked to hear of the case with the Coventry bus crash and have been working with Rowan’s family since late last year on this issue.

“Our laws around working hours for local bus drivers clearly aren’t keeping the public safe and it’s time to legislate to make sure another two people aren’t killed the next time a bus driver is asked to work too many hours than is safe.”

Bus drivers can currently drive for 130 hours over the course of two weeks – no more than ten hours a day, and including a full 24 hours off from behind the wheel.

But Mr Western and the Fitzgerald family want the law changed to allow drivers to work no more than 90 hours in a fortnight.


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