Telematics compulsory after fatal bus crash?

Telematics may become compulsory as a result of a fatal bus crash


The crash which occurred in Coventry in October 2015 could force companies to adhere to new regulations and make telematics technology compulsory in public service fleets.


In September, Birmingham Crown Court found that 80-year-old Stagecoach driver Kailash Chander had been driving dangerously when he caused the deaths of Rowan Fitzgerald and Dora Hancox.

The crash was a culmination of a series of errors and incidents that saw the company ignore warning after warning about the driver’s competence.

Incidents leading up to the crash included:

  • eight warning letters about the standard of his driving
  • four other driving incidents in the previous three years
    • o 2012 when he struck street furniture
      o 2013 while pulling into a bus stop
      o driving into another bus
      o driving into gates at the depot
  • Seven months before the incident, Chander was referred to the company’s driving school. The instructor said the journey was uncomfortable and erratic and would not have been good enough to pass an initial driving test
  • A scheduled ‘one on one’ meeting to address concerns was postponed as managers felt it was not a priority
  • In the week before the crash, Chander had worked a 70-hour week

Following the crash, Chander was diagnosed with dementia and as result could not be tried in court. As a result of the defendant being mentally unfit, the jury at Birmingham Crown Court was asked just to consider whether carried out the alleged acts.

Stagecoach had already pleaded guilty to two charges under the Health and Safety at Work Act in September 2017.

These included:
• failing to ensure the safety of employees
• failing to ensure members of the public were not exposed to risks to their safety arising out of the driving of public service vehicles (PSVs)


Stagecoach will be sentenced on November 26 and faces an unlimited fine.

In the wake of the trial, it is now up to the Department for Transport (DfT) to consider any revisions to its regulations.

Telematics Solutions can transform the way you run your fleet giving your managers invaluable real-time insights. To find out more about the telematics services we offer, go to or call us free on 0800 612 6132.