Hand gel faulted for fouling up Swedish bus service

Bus service in Östersund in northern Sweden has been disrupted due to an increase in the number of drivers using alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Hand gel faulted for fouling up Swedish bus service

As it turns out, the vapors from hands recently disinfected by the get are triggering built-in ignition locks designed to combat drunken driving.

“I know that this has happened in a case when the driver was unable to start the bus because of it; the bus was left standing for ten minutes,” Micke Bernervall, CEO of local operator Stadsbusserna told local newspaper Länstidningen Östersund.

The alcohol-based sanitizers have been broadly touted as the first line of defence against the spread of the swine flu and have become a regular feature of waiting rooms and offices across Sweden in recent months.

However a spate of fires to person and property in the past fortnight have illustrated the dangers of the disinfectant, and now city bus services have also suffered unlikely disruption as the flu takes its toll in unforeseen ways.

“We took a company decision to not provide the sanitizers to the drivers in our buses. It is not a good idea,” Bernervall said.

He added however that drivers looking to stop the spread of the flu and protect themselves from infection are entitled to take along their own supplies.

All of Östersund’s buses have been equipped with the sensitive breath alcohol ignition interlock devices, a move that has been welcomed by the operator despite the apparent threat of stationary buses.

“It is important that the interlock device is very sensitive,” Micke Bernervall underlined.

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