Almost All Queensland Bus Drivers Threatened Or Intimidated, Union Survey Finds
Release date: 19/08/2016
ABC News, by Sharnie Kim, 19 August 2016
A survey of bus drivers in Queensland has found virtually all of them have been abused on the job.
The Transport Workers' Union (TWU) surveyed more than 1,000 bus drivers in the state, with 96.5 per cent reporting they had been abused, and 89.4 per cent saying they had been threatened or intimidated.
More than one fifth said they had been physically attacked while they were behind the wheel and 36 per cent have had passengers assaulted on their bus.
TWU state secretary Peter Biagini said the figures were deeply concerning.
"These are alarming numbers of assaults, and those assaults are from [being] physically abused, harassed, robbed, punched, all those types of things are happening to these drivers," he said.
"The real hotspots are Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and Cairns for large numbers of attacks on bus drivers.
"There were over 40 reported attacks on bus drivers in Queensland in every year from 2011 yet TransLink doesn't see this as a problem."
The TWU's Queensland branch and the Queensland Bus Industry Council are today launching a campaign to demand action to reduce violence on buses.
Mr Biagini called for tougher penalties for those who attack bus drivers, similar to those who assault paramedics and police officers.
He said public transport provider TransLink had not done enough to address safety concerns.
"They need to start to introduce things like duress alarms in buses, they need to go to a cashless system, which they indicate they are going there, but we need that as quickly as possible.
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