• Kyodo

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A bus driver drove in reverse for 560 meters on an expressway in Hyogo Prefecture last month after missing an interchange, officials of the bus operator said Tuesday.

The driver, 52, did not report the Nov. 3 incident to his Hyogo-based firm, Zentan Bus Co. The company first heard of the incident a week later through an anonymous tip.

None of the eight passengers aboard was hurt, and no accidents were reported in the area at the time, the company said.

Police said they planned to cite the driver for the illegal maneuver. The company said the driver was suspended for three days, prohibited from driving some larger busses and barred from some routes.

The incident occurred near the Kasuga Interchange on the Maizuru-Wakasa Expressway in Tamba, Hyogo Prefecture. The bus was en route from Osaka to Toyooka, Hyogo.

The company said the driver was alerted by a passenger about the route mishap at about 8:40 p.m. The driver then pulled over, turned on the hazard lights, and reversed toward the interchange.

The driver told the company he made the decision because he did not want to inconvenience the passengers with a possible delay. The company has vowed to prevent a recurrence.

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