Commuter plays video loudly and shows off phone screen, then demands bus driver call police

Submitted by Stomper Chow

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A man blasted music loudly on a bus and taunted a commuter who told him to lower the volume, leading to a dispute where police had to be called in.

Stomper Chow shared two videos of his encounter with the man on bus service 974 on Saturday (Feb 18), at around 8.36pm.

Chow recounted: "I had the misfortune of sitting beside this man on the bus, nonchalantly playing his video loudly from his phone's loudspeakers (you can hear the clarity in the first video).

"I asked him to lower his phone's volume, to which he refused with a wave of his hand. I started to record a video clip of this inconsiderate act, and when he realised what I was doing, he started proudly displaying the video to me.

"We had a bit of back and forth about this, but he started challenging me to ask the driver if there is a rule against this.

"We then went up to the bus driver together and the driver said that while it's not illegal to do what he did, it is advisable to keep the volume down to not disturb other passengers."

The dispute soon escalated.

Chow said: "I went back and retook my seat. The man then shouted at me from across the bus to ask me to come back and hear the part where what he did is not wrong.

"Coincidentally, we were at the stop where he was about to alight, but he refused to alight and demanded that the driver call the police.

"His reason was that he felt (suddenly) that his privacy was being invaded by me recording a video of him and refusing to delete it, a sharp contrast to the proud character in the first video.

"The bus driver had no choice but to ask everyone to alight."

According to the Stomper, the bus driver stopped at the bus stop after Block 503 Choa Chu Kang Street 51 and called the police.

Chow added: "The bus service was cancelled and everyone on board (about 20 to 30 people) had to alight and board the next bus. The bus driver, the man in question and I remained on the bus while waiting for the police to come and take our statements."

Stomp understands that the parties involved were advised to maintain the peace.

Chow said: "I was allowed to keep the videos, with the advice that I 'think twice about using it further'. I have thought far more than twice.

"This is the fourth case of a bus passenger deciding to play their phones loudly this week that I've personally experienced. This behaviour needs to be talked about more.

"To sum up, this man felt it was worth it to waste public resources (bus service cancelled and police called in) because he felt wronged about having his 'privacy invaded' by me taking a video of him playing music loudly on the bus.

"In the age of earphones (some of which go for less than $10), is it too much to ask to not be an unnecessary imposition on public peace while enjoying private entertainment?"

Chow said he provided feedback to SBS Transit, which operates bus service 974, and shared a screenshot of their response.

Chow told Stomp: "Their reply doesn't seem very helpful, since approaching the bus captain is exactly what I did in this incident, but the bus captain has no authority to stop such inconsiderate behaviour.

"I hope sharing this incident gets the conversation going."

Stomp has contacted SBS Transit for more info.