Bus driver pleads guilty to careless driving after hitting pedestrian
By Ross Lidbetter
CRASH SCENE: Cordoned off Lansdowne Road after the incident
A bus driver has been fined after pleading guilty to careless driving after hitting a woman as she stepped off the kerb.
But Raymond Taylor, who was driving a number 367 single decker earned some sympathy when sentenced at Croydon Crown Court.
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The court heard that the 63 year-old, of Ash Tree Way, Shirley, should have taken action to miss the teenage pedestrian.
However, Judge Stephen Waller noted that he had been driving at well below the speed limit - it was estimated at 22 mph - and had sounded his horn when he saw her on the road.
And he added: "I bear in mind you were driving a public service vehicle and I assume there were passengers in it, and it is not easy to take evasive action.
"An emergency stop or sudden swerve might put passengers in danger."
The judge fined Taylor £300 with £200 costs, and imposed three penalty points, but did not disqualify him from driving.
Linda Shamel, prosecuting, said Metrobus driver Taylor was driving along Lansdowne Road, Croydon, on April 3 last year when three people began to cross.
She said: "The two in front crossed safely but the woman appeared to freeze on the road.
"The driver failed to brake at all. We say he should have braked and stopped the bus, or swerved around the victim."
The 18 year-old pedestrian was seriously injured as the front near-side of the bus caught her.
Bethan Charnley, defending, said: "He accepts that he was momentarily careless.
"He saw them but he did not slow down in time. Another estimate of the speed has been put at 15 mph."
Taylor, a former Royal Mail employee, had a long history of good driving.
Judge Waller told Taylor: "It is a sad story but, in terms of fault by you, it is at the very lowest end of the scale."