Bus driver' s manners make jaywalker mad

KATIE CHAPMAN
Last updated 05:00 26/01/2013

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A Wellington bus company is investigating a complaint that one of its drivers spat at a pedestrian who stepped on to the road as it passed along Manners St.

Karn McNeil, 21, has complained to Mana Coach Services, which operates Newlands Coach Services, after one of its drivers pulled the finger at him, performed another rude gesture, and spat at him out of the window.

Mr McNeil, a retail worker, had been waiting to cross Manners St towards McDonald's on Wednesday night when the bus went past, heading towards Willis St.

As it approached, he stepped out and paused, intending to walk behind the bus as it passed, he said.

Instead, the driver "purposefully stopped", blocking his path. He then performed the rude gestures and spat at him, Mr McNeil said.

He was not on a pedestrian crossing at the time, but said he had looked and was crossing safely.

"You time it so that you cross behind the car."

At least 13 pedestrians have been struck by buses since the central city bus route was extended through the former Manners Mall and along Willis St in November 2010, including three in the first week.

Tramways Union secretary Kevin O'Sullivan said there was a "degree of frustration" among bus drivers. "But people are going to have to live with each other."

Mr McNeil said jaywalking was a common practice in Manners St.

He was so stunned by the incident that he did not take down the bus number. "I was kind of just like in the zone, trying to work out what's going on."

However, he had contacted the bus company to complain, and was told yesterday that it was working to identify the driver, he said. "They think they have narrowed it down."

Mana Coach Services did not respond to calls about the incident.

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- The Dominion Post

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