Rome: A Rome bus driver has been suspended for watching the Europa League match between Lazio and Midtjylland as he drove through the city on Thursday evening.
The incident occurred on board the 881 bus which travels between the historic centre and La Pisana to the west of Rome, reports La Repubblica newspaper.
A passenger immortalised the scene – on Via Gregorio VII near the Vatican – which showed the driver with one eye on the road and the other on the match, screened on his cell phone attached to the window.
The commuter sent the photograph to Rome’s municipal public transport company ATAC with the message: “Does this seem normal to you?”
ATAC managers made immediate contact with the passenger who informed them the driver slammed on the brakes during crucial points in the game, which Lazio lost 5-1 to the Danish side.
The suspended driver now faces disciplinary action from the company which found itself dealing with several unfortunate incidents as Rome launched its 2022 edition of European Mobility Week on Friday.
Earlier in the week an ATAC driver fell asleep at the wheel and crashed a night bus into a bus shelter on Via Togliatti, in the eastern suburbs, in the early hours of Tuesday, reports Corriere della Sera newspaper.
There was nobody injured in the crash whose aftermath was filmed in a video that went viral on social media, in which the driver attempts to placate enraged passengers by saying: “It can happen”.
ATAC issued a statement saying it was “well aware” of the incident and would be investigating the dynamics.
Friday’s launch of European Mobility Week coincided with an eight-hour public transport strike in Rome during which dozens of passengers were locked inside Cornelia metro station after taking the last subway before the industrial action began at 08.30.
ATAC apologised and pledged to launch an investigation into how passengers became trapped in the station.
The nationwide protest was organised by unions in response to “the violent and repeated attacks” against public transport workers in Italy.
On Saturday Rome’s entire public transport network is completely free as part of events to mark European Mobility Week whose theme this year is “Better Connections”.