Tour bus drivers holding microphones

| 29/10/2017

I often see coach drivers, in the mid-size coaches, driving whilst giving their passengers a commentary on a hand-held microphone. Is this legal?

Auntie’s answer: You may be surprised to learn that it is legal for drivers of tour coaches to use one hand to hold a microphone while driving with the other. I know that seems a bit counterintuitive considering the ban on using cell phones while driving, but an RCIPS and a spokesperson confirmed that holding a microphone is not against the law.

I actually double-checked this point with the police because it seemed odd to me. I was told that the traffic department verified there is nothing in the law that prevents a driver from doing that. “The mobile phone law refers specifically to mobile phones.”

I covered using mobile phones while driving in a recent column if you want more details on that subject (see Upset by drivers using cell phones).

I can accept that holding a microphone does not cause the same level of distraction as pushing buttons and looking at a phone. However, this action still results in only one hand operating a vehicle (and one full of passengers in this instance), and I believe it does take the driver’s mind off the road to some degree.

Of course, this situation does not occur even close to the degree that driving while on the phone does (I am certain everyone sees someone doing this every single day), which may be one of the reasons it is not covered by law. But if an accident occurs because of this, that is one time too many. My suggestion would be for tour bus companies to invest in a wireless, headset microphone for their drivers; there are many models on the market for a few hundred dollars or less. Seems a small price to pay to keep a driver focused on the road.

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Category: Ask Auntie, Traffic Questions

Comments (14)

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  1. Susan says:

    You place your life and someone else’s hands and they carelessly hold the mic talking looking out the window to the left to the right instead of paying attention to the driving conditions on the freeway endangering your life not only your life but the life of all the men women and children on the bus because they consider themselves good drivers that attitude alone causes accidents overconfidence. And then when they get in a wreck and kill somebody oh well another one bites the dust right, everybody gets an accident

  2. Anonymous says:

    Here there be laws but NO enforcement. Only accident clean up.

  3. Anonymous says:

    There should be a separate person on board giving the talk. The driver should not be distracted while pointing out things and using a microphone.
    However, in saying that, if the mic was independent and not having to be handheld, that would be less distracting even when showing points of interest.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Just tape a piece of cord to your cell phone and you are legal

  5. Anonymous says:

    It might not be illegal, but if you are involved in an accident because you did not have full control of your vehicle other charges can be applied. In other countries the tour guide is mot the driver or the driver is speaking into a fixed base mic.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Of course, a microphone causes far less distraction, since the engagement is entirely controlled by the user and the apparatus is designed for driver use.

  7. West bay Premier says:

    This situation of a bus drivers is allowed to hold a microphone while driving , but any other driver is not allowed by Law to use a cell phone while driving. Which is the most dangerous, one driving it self , or one driving 50 lives ? I know that it was a long time ago that when I got my driver license and I did my the driving test that I had to hold both hands on the steering wheel in a certain position , has that changed in Cayman today ?
    This just shows how stupidly the Laws are made in Cayman Islands .
    A public bus driver should always have more restrictions on them because they are transporting MANY LIVES .

  8. Anonymous says:

    And how many of these buses are stick shift?

    • Anonymous says:

      the majority of the smaller tour bus are stick shift one reason they are cheaper than automatic when they are bought new.not only are they allowed to use a mic but you are also allowed to use a mobile / portable radio as long as it cannot be used a telephone, the majority of taxis are equipped with two way radios that are used as telephones. point is who is able to look at a mic and tell what its being used as.I have always known that its the talking on the instrument that distracts you not what you are holding in your hand

    • Anonymous says:

      The term is “manual” – the Queen is on the banknotes and the Union Flag is there in the top left.

    • Anonymous says:

      Good point.