A story in the BVI Platinum’s newspaper indicates that the cruise excursion bus driver Roland Allen, nick-named "Crash Dummy," had been convicted of driving offenses – including reckless driving – before the ill-fated Princess Cruises excursion bus crash.
We suspected this, as we raised this issue in a prior article "How Did Princess Cruises Excursion Bus Driver "Crash Dummy" Earn His Nick Name? – Why Does He Have A Police Record?"
Compelling Record of Bad Driving?
In an article " Allen’s License Suspended, Independent Mechanic to Examine Bus," the newspaper reveals an exchange between the bus driver’s lawyer and the criminal Magistrate presiding over the matter. The lawyer for Mr. Allen pleaded the Magistrate not to suspend Mr. Allen’s license. In response, the Magistrate:
". . . lamented that the court was given a conviction sheet of Allen and most of the offences are road traffic offences with one being reckless driving. ‘The allegations are compelling’ she stated."
The newspaper also reports on a curious plea by Mr. Allen’s lawyer who "told the court that tour operator is his only means of income and suspending it will deprive Allen of his livelihood." This argument ignored the fact that the cruise line had already suspended the tour in question, the "Tropical Forest Hike and Beach" excursion, as previously reported in USA Today. The Princess Cruises’ website states: Tropical Forest Hike & Beach***Cancelled***
The Magistrate ruled that given Mr. Allen’s previous convictions, "it is not wise to allow him to return behind the wheels."
Was It Wise to Permit "Crash Dummy" Behind the Wheel In The First Place?
Cruise lines have certain legal duties to their passengers. The cruise line must conduct an investigation into the safety procedures of the tour company and audit the tour’s safety record. This includes not only inspecting the excursion company’s buses but inspecting the driving records of the tour company’s drivers. Cruise lines also have a duty to warn passengers of dangers which are known, or should be known, to the cruise line.
Princess Cruises advertises the excursion bus going to the "highest peak in the Virgin Islands."
Why did the cruise line permit a driver – known in the community of Tortola as "Crash Dummy" and reportedly convicted of reckless driving – take cruise passengers through this steep mountainous terrain? Why didn’t the cruise line warn its passengers of these dangers before charging them $59 a piece for the excursion?
Tropical Forest Hike and Beach Princess Cruises