A letter writer drew the ire of netizens after he suggested that an SBS Transit bus captain should not have been driving if his neck pains caused him to stoop so much that people thought he might have dozed off.
The letter comes after a video went viral showing a bus driver appearing to drift in and out of sleep as he drives the bus, with his neck and head moving forward and backwards as though he is drowsy. SBS Transit later claimed that the bus driver in the video has “neck pains” that cause him to “bend more than normal” but added that this does not hamper his driving ability. It added that the bus captain is medically certified fit to drive.
In his letter to the Straits Times, John Yong Siew Hua wrote that the driver should not have been on the road with such a condition even if he had not been dozing. He wrote:
“From the video, the bus captain can be clearly seen to be either having neck pain or dozing off.
“Whatever the case, his head was bent too low to give him a good line of sight. He should not have been driving in the interest of the other road users, and the safety of the passengers in the bus.”
Adding that he was appalled that the person who shot the video “did not take any decisive action to stop the driver” and that we should “speak up, instead of waiting for someone else to do the right thing,” John added:
“I was extremely disappointed at the lack of empathy and safety consciousness of the company when the spokesman maintained that the bus captain was medically fit to drive.
“This speaks volumes of the company’s attitude towards staff welfare when a bus captain who supposedly had neck pain still had to continue his duty in that state, endangering passengers’ lives.
“We should hold bus operators to a higher standard than this.”
Several netizens responding to John’s letter slammed him for not being compassionate and felt that John should not make such remarks since the driver needs to hold on to his job and should not be deprived from a livelihood because of a condition:
A handful of netizens saw sense in John’s letter and suggested that the driver should receive medical attention as he risks endangering passengers with the manner he drives due to his neck pains: