An investigation has been launched after two Auckland bus passengers were injured when the driver slammed on his brakes.

The incident resulted in an elderly woman being knocked to the floor, bleeding and unable to get up, and another man with a gash to his hand.

Passenger Sheryl Wales described the incident - which happened on Sunday, February 17, at 5.35pm, on the Auckland Harbour Bridge.

The Northern Express bus, owned by Ritchies and operated by Auckland Transport, was travelling from the city to the Albany Station.


"After just travelling over the crest of the bridge, the driver slammed on his brakes - we are unsure why this happened," Wales said. She believed the bus might have been travelling too close to the car in front.

"At this point a lady - probably in her mid to late 70s - fell forward on to the floor.

"She had been sitting in the seat just behind the stairwell so had no seat in front of her to grip. She was bleeding and unable to get up."

Wales said other passengers came to her aid, providing plasters for the wound and assisting her back into her seat.

"My husband, aged 84, also was pushed into the seat in front of him and gashed his hand. He later received medical assistance from the nurse at the Lifestyle Village where we live," she said.

Despite the injured passengers, Wales said the bus driver didn't look into his mirror or attempt to pull over to see whether anyone had been hurt.

"My major concern is that, at no stage did the driver look into his mirror after he had slammed on his brakes, or attempt to pull over at the first safe opportunity, once he had left the bridge.

"No comment was made to any of the departing passengers after the incident," she said.


"On leaving the bus at Albany, I approached the driver and asked him if he was aware some people had been hurt. His reply was 'sorry'."

In a letter to Auckland Transport, Wales said she hoped that procedures, following an incident such as this, could be looked into.

"[For example] should a driver stop to check on his passengers, should he regularly check his mirrors to ensure passengers are ok, should he offer a medical kit?" she queried.

AT spokesman Mark Hannan told the Herald Ritchies had launched an investigation into the incident.

"They have the CCTV from the bus and will be interviewing the driver and any witnesses.

"Ritchies will then report back to AT on what action they have taken.

"From an AT perspective – each day we carry 120,000 people, they do 220,000 journeys on Auckland's buses. We are never happy to hear that someone has been injured while travelling with us.

"Safety on the bus network is paramount and Auckland Transport endeavours to take all measures practicable to ensure the safety of our customers."

Hannan said AT works with bus operators to emphasise the safety message.

"We investigate serious near misses and incidents to identify opportunities to improve safety and to remove risks and assess any hazards.

"We require the operator to provide us with a full report on any incident. We will look at any incident to see how we can improve the safety of our bus network."

Hannan said Ritchies had looked at the CCTV footage but hadn't yet been through it with the driver.

Wales said her husband was still having medical attention for his wound and has it dressed twice a week.

The couple are waiting to hear from Auckland Transport.