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Making our buses safe

The State Liberals want Transport Minister Stephen Mullighan to put forward a comprehensive safety package for bus drivers and their passengers at today’s meeting with bus drivers.

“Too many bus drivers are the victims of assault and intimidation and too many people won’t travel of public transport because they feel unsafe,” said Shadow Minister for Transport David Pisoni.

“It’s time for Jay Weatherill to honour his promise that ‘bus drivers and commuters deserve to feel safe on our public transport system’ (Weatherill Media Release: 9th October 2013).

“No one single measure will eradicate violence on our buses but we can achieve a better level of protection through safety screens for drivers, cctv with audio capability and a greater presence of Transit Police.

“The Labor Government promised in October 2013 to begin negotiations with the bus contractors and the Transport Workers Union regarding the introduction of safety screens – almost two and a half years later Adelaide bus drivers still lack this basic protection.

“Last week I met with a group of bus drivers who poured out their frustration at being punched, spat on and sworn at whilst trying to go about their job.

“All of the drivers were unanimous that Transit Police are as rare as hens’ teeth on their buses.

“It also time to end the practice of requiring bus drivers to report assaults to their employers who then determine whether a police report is necessary.

“If a bus driver is assaulted or feels threatened they should be able to report that directly to the police – just as any passenger can.”