Calls For Reform After Passenger Fails To Thank Driver While Getting Off Bus

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WATERFORD bus drivers called for a reform of bus rules and regulations today after a Dublin man failed to thank a driver while exiting at a bus stop yesterday evening.

Patrick Hegarty, who was getting off the 360 bus from Tramore to Waterford on Parnell street, claimed he totally ‘forgot’ to say ‘thank you’, at 5:54pm Wednesday, a solicitor for the accused told a special sitting of Waterford District court today.

“I had my earphones in and wasn’t even thinking.” said Hegarty, who was greeted by jeers from the bus drivers family members in the court. “I don’t know what I was thinking; by the time I realised what I had done, the bus was gone.”

Solicitor for the defence, Eamon Casey, told Judge Michael Grant that his client then chased the bus en-route to the city centre bus station, but could not catch up with it as it was a motor-propelled vehicle with wheels and seemed to be moving quite fast.

“Mr Hegarty ran for twenty minutes before losing sight of the bus.” claimed Casey.

Judge Grant took the accused plea of guilty into account and sentenced him to 3 years in prison, with two years suspended, pending good manners.

Bus inspector Terry Healy later slammed the lenient sentence handed out by the judge, stating the year in jail will only open up the flood-gates to more passengers not thanking drivers while exiting buses.

“He will be out in 12 months again to do the same thing again.” said Mr. Healy. “I will be proposing a country wide strike action over this.”

Thanking bus-drivers was made compulsory in Ireland in 1925, and comes with a minimal three year jail sentence and  a large fine.

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