Mobile phone bus driver in court

A BUS driver who used a mobile phone while at the wheel of a vehicle full of school children has been ordered to pay a total of £210 after admitting the offence.

A BUS driver who used a mobile phone while at the wheel of a vehicle full of school children has been ordered to pay a total of £210 after admitting the offence.

South East Suffolk Magistrates Court heard that Trudy Firman, 39, of Alnesbourn Crescent, Ipswich was driving the Route 75 First Eastern bus service when she committed the offence on January 19 this year.

Firman did not appear at court but pleaded guilty to the matter by post and said she had learned her lesson.

The matter hit national headlines when The Evening Star exclusively revealed footage on our website of Firman taking both hands off the wheel as she spoke into her phone while negotiating a busy roundabout.


You may also want to watch:


Horrified school pupils who were passengers on the bus took video images of Firman on her phone and their furious parents contacted the Star to highlight the matter.

Magistrates heard that she was driving the single decker vehicle from Bixley towards the Sainsbury's store at Warren Heath when she was spotted holding a phone to her left ear and engaging in conversation.

Most Read

In a statement to the court Firman said: “I openly admit my guilt to this offence. As a result of my actions I felt it prudent to resign my position.

“I've learned a lesson. Due to an error in judgement I placed myself and my family in a difficult financial circumstances.”

The court was told by the clerk that the offence predated new legislation regarding the use of mobile phones at the wheel which came into effect in February. The new legislation makes using a mobile phone at the wheel an endorsable offence.

Chairman of the Magistrates Jane Fiske ordered that Firman pay a fine of £150 and costs of £60.

Mrs Fiske said: “We would like to point out that when she committed the offence it was not endorseable. The fixed penalty for a car driver doing the same thing would have been £30.

“We made it has high as we have because she was driving a commercial vehicle and was responsible for the safety of passengers. We have not made the fine any higher because she has very serious financial difficulties as she is now out of a job.”

n. What do you think of the fine? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

n. See the footage of Firman at the wheel at www.eveningstar.co.uk

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter