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Guards to combat violent passengers?

Brisbane / QLD Transport Discussion

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Guards to combat violent passengers?

Postby Roderick Smith » Mon Jan 09, 2017 5:02 pm

I didn't even try to look and see if this had been buried under a useless heading. The experts can do that, and post the link, and lock the thread.

Roderick

December 19 2016 Queensland Bus drivers demand guards to combat violent passengers.
Security guards and extra Translink officers should ride on Queensland buses as an interim measure ahead of the findings of a safety review, unionists said on Monday as they protested outside one of their biggest employers.
Rail, Tram and Bus Union, along with the Transport Workers' Union, organised the Reddacliff Place protest on Monday ahead of a meeting with Brisbane City Council.
Bus drivers and union supporters outside Brisbane City Council on Reddacliff demanding better safety conditions. Photo: Cameron Atfield .
They demanded that employers, including but not limited to the council, introduce interim protection measures ahead of the state government's review, which was expected to be completed by March.
Transport Minister Stirling Hinchliffe announced the safety review in September, almost a month to the day before council bus driver Manmeet Alisher was burnt to death in a horrifying attack at Moorooka.
That review was announced after bus drivers took to the streets in Brisbane to demand safer working conditions.
Mr Alisher's death was also cited as a reason for security screens to be introduced on all Victorian buses.
RTBU assistant state secretary Tom Brown said his members had had enough of being "treated like punching bags".
RTBU represented Brisbane City Council drivers.
"The level of violence against drivers is unacceptable," Mr Brown said.
"There's a campaign that 'one punch can kill', well one punch can kill a bus driver and our drivers are getting punched in the head several times over when somebody goes after them.
"The level is so great that drivers' families are constantly ringing them at work now, asking them if they're OK."
Mr Brown said while members were keen to see the result of the review, drivers wanted immediate action.
"We've got a lot of faith in the review, but those things are six months down the track," he said.
"We think that the employer could be doing something now."
Mr Brown said measures such as more Translink officers or security guards being assigned to buses and additional signage to warn people they could be prosecuted if they attacked drivers could be introduced immediately.
Longer term, Mr Brown said, "suitable barriers" needed to be looked at and considered and that formed part of the RTBU's submission to the review.
"Obviously, barriers are not an overnight issue; it will take time to get a suitable barrier and then to get them into buses," he said.
"But it's certainly under consideration."
But Transport Workers Union Queensland state secretary Peter Biagini said that approach might not be met with universal approval.
"The drivers out there are hesitant about having barriers around," he said.
"They enjoy the job, where they actually integrate with the passengers, however we all have a duty of care to make sure they're safe.
"If that means, out of this review, that it's in the best interests of all drivers to have barriers on all buses, so be it.
"We're going to listen to what the review says."
Mr Biagini said there was no easy fix to the problem and he did not want the government's review to be rushed.
"If they do it too quick, it's not done properly," he said.
Mr Biagini said the TWU also wanted tougher penalties introduced for people who attacked drivers.
A spokesman for Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said the council would watch the results of the government review closely.
"Brisbane City Council has been contributing significantly to this review, working closely with Deloitte, the consultant engaged by (the Department of Transport and Main Roads), to provide detail of our procedures, policies and safety system," he said.
"Council urges the state government to complete and release the outcomes of that review as soon as possible and will work with them on the outcomes of their review."
Mr Hinchliffe said the review's findings were due to be handed to the government in March 2017.
www.theage.com.au/queensland/queensland ... te4q8.html
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