Bus driver banned after crashing through Timperley level crossing barrier – risking lives of passengers

By Danielle Wainwright

A reckless bus driver has been stripped of his professional licence after dangerous driving caused his vehicle to collide with a railway crossing barrier in Timperley.

Savvas Kotsinis of Eldon Place, Eccles, was found guilty of dangerous driving on August 10 2011 and given a prison sentence of four months suspended for 18 months, told to complete unpaid work and given a driving ban of 18 months.

However on July 3, Deputy North West of England Traffic Commissioner Simon Evans, said he was not confident Kotsinis had a true insight into the seriously faulty driving decisions he had made on the day of the incident.

Mr Evans said: “My expectation is that professional drivers with vocational entitlement are expected to operate to the higher standard of conduct that might not apply to other drivers.

“Here the actions of Kotsinis fell below those standards and it is right that he will suffer the consequences thereof, before being able to resume such a role.”

Evidence was heard from Kotsinis that on the day of the incident, he had not heard the alarm and did not see any flashing lights at the level crossing.

Crown Prosecution Service records revealed that the bus Mr Kotsinis was driving had between 10 and 12 passengers on board and as it approached the level crossing, he drove through as the barriers were descending resulting in the nearside barrier smashing through a window on the bus.

After considering all the evidence, Mr Evans noted that the incident was a matter of considerable seriousness, where ‘both passengers carried and the wider travelling public were placed in danger ‘and that the public would have no confidence in Mr Kotsinis driving buses or coaches because of his failures.

The orders made meant that Kotsinis will not be able to drive passenger carrying vehicles indefinitely.

The Deputy Commissioner also made a ruling on Kostinis’s application for his HGV driving licence to be reinstated and found that it was appropriate to refuse his application for a short period, after considering that he would not be unfit, in the long term, to drive large goods vehicles.

This would give Mr Kostinis a further period to reflect on his conduct, following the court’s disqualification.

Kostinis will able to drive HGVs again from October, providing there have been no further convictions or offences.

Picture courtesy of Colin Smith, with thanks.

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