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Mobile phone use while driving: 16 bus drivers sacked by Dublin Bus

Dublin: Dublin Bus has fired 16 bus drivers who were found to be using mobile phones while driving. The disciplinary action taken by Dublin Bus was for violating the company’s ‘zero tolerance’ mobile phone policy. However, the cases of 10 of them are in the appeal stage.

In the first phase, the company revealed the number of sacked employees while considering the appeal of Okan Karpus, a former Dublin bus driver, at the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC). Karpus was dismissed in December 2019. He listened to his wife’s voice message about their son’s illness on the phone. This was when the vehicle was at the traffic light. He has filed an appeal citing these issues.

On October 30, 2019, he used his phone while standing at the traffic lights. This was noticed by the bus inspector. While driving, he sent a WhatsApp message to his daughter at Ashtown Terminal. But then there was no response. Later, while driving, there was an answer on the phone. This is what Karpus picked up.

Three weeks later, on November 21, Karpus’ son fell ill. His wife’s phone call went unanswered. They then left a voice message about it. Karpus overheard this message while waiting at the lights. When the lights turned green, I dropped the phone. This use was also observed by the inspector. Then action was taken.

Allan Grant, Dublin Bus’s head of HR and development, stated that the company has a zero-tolerance policy for cell phone use while driving. This could result in a dismissal.

Karpus pleaded guilty to using a mobile while driving a bus, according to WRC Adjudicator Niamh O’Carroll. He is, however, justifying the situation. He was given two chances to appeal in this matter. O’Carroll said that it cannot be considered that the action was unfair based on the evidence provided by both parties.

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