A prosecution of an unusual nature was heard in Hamilton J.P. Court on Monday 27th December 1936 when Catherine McIntosh, 41 Argyle Street, Motherwell, a conductress in the employment of the Central S.M.T. Company, denied having on November 26, while a passenger in one of the company’s omnibuses, given a signal which was interpreted by the driver as a signal start, and in this way causing: the vehicle to be started before intending female passenger had entered, whereby the latter fell to the ground and was injured.
The complainer, a Lithuanian, who gave evidence through interpreter, stated in the witness-box that she waited at the junction of Glasgow Road and Auchinraith Road, Blantyre on a bus for Motherwell when a double-deck vehicle came forward. She made to mount. She had her hand on the rail and her foot on the step when the bus started, and she stumbled and was dragged along the ground. She sustained injury to her head, face, and body. Upon cross-examination, the witness denied that she walked off the bus while it was in motion. John Scott, chief inspector of the company, explained that accused was conductress of a bus travelling between Newton and Cambuslang. On completing her duties on that vehicle she joined the double-deck bus to go to the Hamilton Depot to sign off. She had no right to bell the bus start, she was a passenger in it, not an on duty employee. The Witness admitted he was quite aware that a conductor of a double-deck bus, if busy, generally got another conductor to help. He also admitted that accused did not pay her fare and did not sign off until she got to Hamilton. Asked by the agent for the defence how she could be designated as a passenger if accused had not paid her fare, witness replied that under their internal regulations she was regarded as such. The Justices held that accused was a passenger on the bus, and such signalled the driver to start. In admonishing accused they expressed the opinion that two conductors should be employed on this type of vehicle at busy periods.