School bus driver stripped of licence

A HUNTER school bus driver who was filmed by students talking on his phone while driving also threatened a student with violence and ejected a teenager 75 kilometres from home.

The Administrative Decisions Tribunal on Friday upheld the NSW Department of Transport’s decision to suspend and cancel the driver’s authority.

Judicial member Peter Molony found the driver was not a fit and proper person to drive a school bus and had been responsible for nine transport breaches on the 90 minute daily route.

The driver, who cannot be named to protect the identities of children involved, was found to have put a teen off the bus 75kilometres from home in 2010.

‘‘This can reasonably be viewed as abandonment,’’ Mr Molony said.

The driver told the tribunal he put the teen off the bus while he rang the police about an incident and the teen ran away.

The tribunal also found the driver threatened a student with physical violence in 2010 during an incident when the student repeatedly opened a bus window and the driver said: ‘‘Leave it shut or I will break your arm off.’’

It found the driver also threw a bag of rubbish out of the bus as that student alighted, lied to the NSW Department of Transport over the violence threat and used his mobile phone while driving.

Mr Molony said while behaviour on the bus was clearly not good the driver had not read the department’s behaviour guidelines and imposed his own standard of discipline on students.

He found the driver was ‘‘ill-informed and wrong’’ about behaviour guidelines, ignorant of relevant regulations and that some of his actions did not reflect well on his honesty.

‘‘While [the driver] outlined the high standard of behaviour he sought to impose on students on his bus, it is apparent that he had not imposed similarly high standards on himself,’’ Mr Molony said.

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