19 Nov 2014

$500 for trapped bus passengers

7:13 pm on 19 November 2014

A Wellington bus company has been fined $22,000 after passengers were caught in bus doors on eight occasions last year.

Wellington City Transport Limited, a subsidiary of NZ Bus, pleaded guilty to one health and safety charge last month. It faced a maximum fine of $250,000.

In the Wellington District Court today, Judge Bruce Davidson imposed a reduced penalty because of the company's safety improvements and early guilty plea.

The judge also ordered emotional harm reparation of $500 for the seven identified victims.

In his ruling, Judge Davidson said bus doors would always be slightly dangerous.

"This is a risk that can never be eliminated but one which can only be addressed by mitigation.

"The defendant company accepts, by its plea of guilty, that its degree of mitigation was inadequate but has improved it substantially since."

Outside court, NZ Bus believed that the fine was fair and reasonable. Chief executive Zane Fulljames said today that passengers in the city are safe using the transport.

"The whole process has also provided us with an opportunity to critically review our health and safety systems. We've invested over a million dollars to address some of those issues that we could have addressed a little bit faster, but we did as quickly as they were identified."

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs