An Uber driver has been found guilty of negligent driving occasioning death after his passenger, Englishman Samuel Thomas, stepped out of his vehicle at a red light, straight into the path of a bus. Uber driver Nazrul Islam, 32, denied responsibility for the death which occurred in Sydney, Australia, on June 17, 2017. The court heard how Mr Thomas had been out drinking with friends before a few of them decided to catch an Uber home. As reported by the Daily Mail, while sitting at a red light Mr Thomas opened the rear passenger door. Islam then accelerated off as Mr Thomas was struck by a bus.
Magistrate Mary Ryan found that Islam did not keep a proper lookout. CCTV footage from the bus showed the internal light of Islam’s car came on indicating that something was ‘amiss’. The light was on for six seconds before Islam accelerated off, which the Magistrate believed was long enough for him to react. The court heard that Islam worked 21 hours, although claiming to of slept during breaks, before the incident and had said, through an interpreter, that he was ‘ready to drive Friday night as long as possible because it would be a busy night’.
Magistrate Ryan believed fatigue to be a main cause of Islam’s inability to react to the situation as it unfolded. Islam had only been working for Uber for three weeks before the incident and was unable to recall the ‘exact destination’ that Thomas and his two friends, Stephen Ronning and Greg Hensman, were going to but said he thinks the GPS was advising an ETA of four to five minutes. Magistrate Ryan said: “I find that he is guilty of the charge of negligent driving occasioning death beyond reasonable doubt”.