Bus company asked to review monitoring system after pedestrian hit and killed in Sheffield

Sheila Bowling died after being hit by a no 52 bus in Sheffield city centreSheila Bowling died after being hit by a no 52 bus in Sheffield city centre
Sheila Bowling died after being hit by a no 52 bus in Sheffield city centre
A bus company has been asked to review a controversial monitoring system after one of its drivers hit and killed a pedestrian in Sheffield.

Sheila Bowling was crossing Angel Street in Sheffield city centre when the 74-year-old was hit by a number 52 bus being driven by David Cameron. She later died in hospital of her injuries.

Cameron, then 59, of Spring Mount Close, Gleadless Valley, was handed a 12-month community order in 2015 and banned for driving for a year after he admitted causing death by dangerous driving.

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More than three years after the fatal collision, which happened on the afternoon of November 6, 2013, a coroner has warned the bus operator First Mainline more people could die unless action is taken.

Professor Christopher Dorries, senior coroner for South Yorkshire, wrote to the company to say: "The investigation (into the fatal crash) revealed matters giving rise to concern. In my opinion there is a risk that future deaths will occur unless action is taken."

His warning came after Sheffield Crown Court heard back in 2015 how First used a system known as DriveGreen technology to measure the smoothness of journeys and reward drivers for not braking or steering sharply.

Following the hearing, Ms Bowling's family accused First of 'playing Russian roulette with the public' by offering a weekly £50 incentive for the smoothest driver.

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The court heard how Cameron had failed to brake or swerve to avoid the pensioner, but Judge Robert Moore gave no opinion on whether the monitoring scheme played any role in her death.

Professor Dorries wrote in his report to First: "Notwithstanding the passage of time since this incident, First Mainline may wish to consider the operation of this monitoring system and/or whether the training thereon is open to any improvement."

First has until April 26 to respond to his report, giving details of any steps which have been taken or are planned to improve safety, or explaining why no action is proposed.

Asked whether any action had been taken or was planned following Ms Bowling's death, Kevin Belfield, managing director of First South Yorkshire, responded: "The safety of our customers, other road users and our employees is our highest priority at First South Yorkshire and our thoughts remain with the family and friends of Sheila Bowling. We note the publication of the coroner's report and will take some time to consider our response."

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