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A 60-year-old coach driver whose actions led to a serious accident involving dozens of children last August has been banned from driving for 15 months. He may also require more PCV training before taking an extended test mandated as a condition for getting his licence back.

Prospect Coaches driver Robert Blakemore was behind the wheel of the bus carrying 53 passengers from Sandwell to Weston-Super-Mare, when he apparently nodded off. Witnesses reported seeing his head down and his chin resting against his chest just prior to the crash. Apparently, one of the children screaming woke Blakemore but, in a state of shock, he was unable to react quickly enough to prevent the crash. The coach went off the motorway and overturned.

There were no deaths reported as a result of the accident but there were injuries. Blakemore was among the injured after breaking his leg. He told the Magistrate’s Court that he was currently receiving sick pay because his leg injury was preventing him from working. Now it appears Blakemore may lose his job after admitting to driving without due care and attention.

An Avoidable Accident?

On everybody’s mind at this point is whether the accident was avoidable or not. Blakemore is diabetic, but it appears as though he did not black out as a result of his condition. It appears as though he simply fell asleep. If that is the case, was he able to recognise the signs of drowsiness with enough time to pull the coach over to the side of the road? We may never know.

One of the things we stress in our PCV training classes is the extra need for safety due to the human cargo being transported. We would expect one of our graduate students to know enough to pull over if drowsiness were beginning to set in. Again, we do not know if this was the case with Blakemore. Nevertheless, any time a coach or bus driver begins to feel even slightly drowsy is a good time to pull over and call a supervisor. Lives are not worth risking just to make an arrival schedule on time.

We do hope Blakemore is able to undergo his extended testing in order to get his licence back in 15 months. If not, perhaps it is better for him to leave the transport industry altogether. In the meantime, the HGV Training Centre will continue to provide students across the UK with high quality driver training that will prepare them to take the PCV theory and practical skills tests.

Our PCV training utilises an intense and focused approach that has proven successful over the years. We teach our students exactly what they need to learn in order to pass their tests the first time. Our approach is not only successful for learning, but also for retention and recall. Our students pass the theory test, the first time, at a rate of 92%. Are you ready to train?

Sources:

BBC – https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-gloucestershire-30712703

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