Drivers using mobiles while waiting for their train.

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by notadriver, 29 Apr 2012.

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  1. notadriver

    notadriver Established Member

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    What are the rules regarding mobile phone usage for a driver waiting on the platform for their train? Its been suggested that while they are in view of the public (not in the cab) they should never use a personal mobile - not even to text. What does everyone think of this?
     
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  3. Pumbaa

    Pumbaa Established Member

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    Vary by TOC I thought.

    It's not uncommon to see drivers waiting time on their phone inside or outside their cab. Officially or otherwise, at least XC, LM, VT and FGW seem okay with it.
     
  4. DaveNewcastle

    DaveNewcastle Established Member Fares Advisor

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    How does any assessment of risk or of safety manage to incorporate 'within view of the public' into its rationale for minimising risk?

    What an extraordinary factor to be considering!

    Safety is ensured by a range of measures, including policies, rules, protocols, record-keeping, assesments from personnel and prior incidents, and regular reviews of all those policies. How can 'within view of the public' ever contribute towards any of those measures?

    I've never come across anything resembling this before now.
     
  5. Stephen55a1960

    Stephen55a1960 Member

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    Surely, if the train is not moving (as in not working the service), what does it matter? The driver is not endangering the lives of other rail users. If they were using one whilst "tootling" along on a service - different matter! Obvious distraction there.
     
  6. BestWestern

    BestWestern Established Member

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    I haven't heard of any policy preventing them from using a mobile 'in view' of anybody, and indeed any such policy would be highly likely to cause considerable problems when Control or suchlike needed to speak to their Drivers.
     
  7. pendolino

    pendolino Member

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    In the cab, no (unless train is at a stand and even then only for essential operational reasons, e.g., to contact signaller or fleet). On the platform or in the saloon with the cab secured, no problem. That's my understanding of the position at my TOC anyway.
     
  8. transmanche

    transmanche Established Member

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    A company's rules can cover more than just health & safety.

    They may decide that it's important for their staff to portray a certain image, so that members of the public can't misinterpret any action as being unsafe. Things such as "not going into a pub whilst wearing company uniform", or "no mobile phones in the cab, even when the train is not in service" fall into that category.
     
  9. notadriver

    notadriver Established Member

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    I agree with all of you. I should have added personal mobile. Its come about because a member of on board train crew were allegedly using their phone for a personal reasons and were obviously in view of the public. Then it was mentioned how cleaners and platform staff shouldn't be on their personal phones at all while they were on duty. So the person pointed out as the driver was being paid to wait for their train, they were on on duty and shouldn't be using their own phone. Where does it end?
     
  10. Cherry_Picker

    Cherry_Picker Established Member

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    I have used my phone on the platform dozens, nay, hundreds of times. Never been pulled up about it.
     
  11. 34D

    34D Established Member

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    Ridiculous
     
  12. KA4C

    KA4C Member

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    Which is a load of bxllxcks. In many companies, only certain types of numbers are permitted from a company phone. Yet drivers (and other ops staff) sometimes have to ring numbers outside of that range, for work purposes. Most will use their initiative and use their own mobiles for that. Providing they are not undertaking SCW at the time, there is no issue. In addition staff are being paid during their PNB, whilst on annual leave, if of sick, etc, etc, do they not use their phones in public then? A fuss over nothing
     
  13. ANorthernGuard

    ANorthernGuard Established Member

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    Yep what he said lol :D
     
  14. 34D

    34D Established Member

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    You mean some staff dare use their mobile when they're being paid to be on annual leave?

    Next you'll tell me that some staff sip a cold beer while at the side of the mediterranean while being paid. This must be stopped at once. Brings the TOC into disrepute.
     
  15. Bellwater

    Bellwater Member

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    Who suggested this, the person who had a strop when the loco he went to see didn't turn up, took it out on Platform Staff and reported them?
     
  16. nedchester

    nedchester Established Member

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    Are you for real? Does it matter? A case of people making a fuss over nothing.
     
  17. Dr.iver

    Dr.iver Member

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    When I'm not actively carrying out safety critical work then my phone is my link to my family, if some one tried to stop or report this they would find themselves playing a ringtone eveytime they farted.
    What's ridiculous complaint
     
  18. A-driver

    A-driver Established Member

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    I'm always using my phone when waiting for a train on a platform-weather talking to a mate/family, texting, emailing, listening to music on headphones, playing a game, catching up on iPlayer etc. Can't see a problem with it, turn it on to silent and put it in my
    Pocket as the train pulls in. Can't see anything wrong with that?
     
  19. GearJammer

    GearJammer On Moderation

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    lol, best responce yet..... and i totally agree!
     
  20. Greeny

    Greeny Member

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    Agreed, though there will allways be some nut-cases with nothing better to do, that will find any reason, no matter how petty to complain about something.

    Foxtrot them.

    Good response Dr.iver.
     
    Last edited: 30 Apr 2012
  21. whhistle

    whhistle Established Member

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    But using a mobile phone in a car that isn't even running can land you in hot water... why should a train be any different?

    I can understand why drivers and crew members need mobile phones but I frown upon them being used in the public eye. Why? Because it's unprofessional. But then previous roles I have worked in have made my work ethic a very high standard.
    What would you think if you saw someone at Asda texting or chatting on a mobile phone while waiting for a punter? I'd not think it was professional or giving Asda a good image.

    For me, mobiles comes under the same rule as smoking... that I don't like people in uniforms doing it as it doesn't give a good image to the company. Then again I am warming (or relaxing) to the idea about phones.

    Then again, it is what is to be expected as to the culture of the railways, certainly at operational levels. People urinating on the tracks / cess, not exactly the best view of a person and does give a view of down-trodden, council, 3rd class sort of feelings. But then this is far from talking on a mobile phone.
     
  22. RPM

    RPM Established Member

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    Most TOCs make great use of drivers' personal mobiles in order to contact them on operational matters (not whilst driving of course). Most drivers use their personal mobiles in the course of their duties to contact control, fleet, rosters etc (again, not whilst actually driving). They have become a significant link in the flow of information so banning their use at work would be a definite own goal for the industry.

    In terms of personal calls, drivers work strange hours and are by necessity uncontactable for many hours through our shifts. Therefore I think in this day and age it is reasonable for us to contact family and conduct personal business over the phone during times when we have nothing else to be doing but waiting for a train.

    Before someone pipes up and says the railway managed perfectly well before mobile phones, I should make clear i'm not saying they are essential to the running of the railway, but they are useful and banning them would be a retrograde step.
     
    Last edited: 2 May 2012
  23. Minilad

    Minilad Established Member

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    Sometimes I despair of this forum I really do.
     
  24. TDK

    TDK Established Member

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    You would be good material for a draconian driver manager - what a load of poppycock how on Earth can it be un professional for a train driver to be using a mobile phone when not driving a train where 90% of the population own and use one - I think if train drivers cannot use them nor should passengers if you feel that the same law as smoking should be adapted to mobiles, I am sorry buddy but you are just so out of touch it is making me cringe and I personally really feel that you need to look at the wider picture as train drivers do have a life you know.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    It makes me wonder on what the gereral public actually think of train drivers XC if this is the general consensus I really feel sometimes I am wasting my time trying to do my job to the best of my ability
     
  25. OliverS

    OliverS Member

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    I'm a member of the general public (albeit with an interest in the railways). If I saw a train driver on a mobile I would consider it none of my business. If the train was moving I would assume that he was doing something railway related (after all he knows what is safe, not me); if it wasn't moving, I wouldn't care. Actually I would care if the train was delayed for some reason but I would also assume that he was on the phone to sort out the delay.

    Unless I'm a driver I simply cannot know what is appropriate. However I can make a judgement on a company that refuses to let its employees phone home when it is reasonable to do so, and that judgement would not be complimentary.
     
  26. jopsuk

    jopsuk Veteran Member

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    I don't think it's a general consensus thing. I think it is just the occasional keyboard warrior.
     
  27. KA4C

    KA4C Member

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    Absolutely and, as a Driver Manager of 21 years and with nearly 40 years on the footplate, I totally agreed with you. We, as business, make wide use of the fact that our drivers are issued with mobiles. Without them, we'd struggle to run the business effectively. Providing they are not used when SCW is being performed, there is no problem. Sound's like some of these postings are from people who know diddly squat about the industry
     
  28. michael769

    michael769 Established Member

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    We are not talking about a driver doing it in his cab, but standing outside his train - this is more like the driver of a car getting out of his car to make a call. In any case using a hand held mobile is OK in a car provided it is legally parked at the side of the road and the engine turned off.
     
  29. Geezertronic

    Geezertronic Established Member

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    I am trying to figure out how a member of the public would be able to determine whether a driver or traincrew member was using their own mobile phone or one issued by their TOC?

    I am not affilliated with the railways but can safely say this is complete nonsense. The police use mobile phones, who am I to say whether the officer is using their personal mobile or their work issued mobile? I am sure this applies to other jobs as well
     
  30. The North Briton

    The North Briton Member

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    Sounds like sour grapes on the part of the on board staff. Before they go pointing the finger, perhaps they should reflect that the Driver will have very little opportunity to use his/her phone during the shift, so a quick call/text from the platform end is entirely reasonable. They may need to let someone know they are going to be late, or make arrangements to pick the kids up from school, any number of good reasons.
     
  31. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    I can't quite remember the rules for using a phone in a car (and I have a handsfree car kit in any case) but isn't it okay if the hand brake is on, or is only if the engine is off?

    I'd say that a driver sitting in a cab at a terminus waiting to leave, with the brakes applied, is fine to use a mobile - although there may well be an issue if it causes him/her to miss the RA light and ends up delaying the service.

    Outside of the cab on the platform? Of course they should be fine there - unless they're chatting on the phone while they're supposed to be setting off! These aren't safety issues, but operational ones.

    Maybe drivers should carry an iPad and then if anyone asks why they've got one, say it's got a train driving app on it so they can read the paper.
     
    Last edited: 2 May 2012
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