Driver fined after blind man hit by bus at Hoveton

An experienced bus driver admitted driving carelessly after he pulled into a layby at Hoveton and hit a blind man who was standing near the stop.

Alfred Atkinson, 69, of The Loke, Ingham, pleaded guilty to driving without due care and attention.

The charge related to an incident in Norwich Road, Hoveton, on June 30 last year, before Atkinson had retired.

Oliver Haswell, prosecuting, said: 'The bus driven by Atkinson swung into the layby, and, although the vehicle remained on the road, the bus overhung the pavement and collided with a gentleman who stood there.

'The gentleman was blind and unable to take avoiding action. The bus struck him, and he was knocked over.'

The victim suffered minor injuries, including bruising, as a result.

Stephen Thomas, mitigating, said Atkinson had been driving for 52 years and had been a bus and coach driver for 42 of them, with no endorsements to his licence. Also, he had completed an advanced driver's certificate in 2007.

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Mr Thomas said it had been a fleeting drop in the standard of his driving: a momentary lapse.

'He was a competent driver and still is a competent driver,' he added.

Atkinson, who retired three months ago, tried to pull in flush to the kerb to make it easier for passengers.

He added: 'He should have on this occasion, even though it would have blocked traffic, stopped a few feet from the kerb and been aware of the possibility of someone stumbling.'

Atkinson was fined �200, his license endorsed with five penalty points and ordered to pay �60 costs and a �15 victim surcharge.