After more assaults on drivers on Queensland public transport, TWU Queensland is calling on Translink to drastically change how they approach driver safety.
The Get On Board! campaign was launched in conjunction with the Queensland Bus Industry Council (QBIC) to raise awareness of these issues, and to affect change.
So far, TWU members have collected over 10,000 signatures calling on Translink to provide a safe work environment for bus drivers.
TWU members and officials will be collecting signatures from the public from 11am on Thursday 15th September at the Maroochydore bus station.
The TWU and industry representatives are calling for a raft of changes which will help to ensure that drivers are safe at work, with the introduction of security screens on high-risk routes, cashless systems and improved CCTV and back-to-base systems.
New revelations have emerged that a bus driver was seriously assaulted on the 3rd of September in Mooloolaba by an intoxicated passenger, on a Translink controlled route.
Just last week, a driver in Ipswich, on a Translink controlled route, suffered injury after being struck in the face by an aggressive passenger.
With almost every single bus driver that responded to a TWU survey having been on the receiving end of some form of assault, the TWU is continuing to support drivers who have been victims of these cowardly crimes, while calling on Translink to take driver safety seriously.
TWU Queensland Secretary Peter Biagini has today said that these latest incidents show just how badly Translink has dropped the ball when it comes to driver safety.
“Why is Translink refusing to accept responsibility for the safety of their drivers?” asked Biagini.
“This is their workplace, if someone walked into an office and assaulted a staff member, there would be action taken then – why not now?”
“Translink needs to seriously reconsider their priorities when it comes to the safety of their drivers”
Media Contact: Tom Millroy 0411875910
TWU officials available for comment
The statewide survey of Queensland bus drivers revealed that:
● 96.5% of drivers have been abused
- 62.4% report that they get abused regularly
● 89.4% report being intimidated or threatened
● 81.2% have been threatened with physical harm, 54.1% reporting this happens regularly
● 71.8% have had objects thrown at their bus such as rocks, bottles, metal poles
● 74.1% experienced verbal abuse
● 68.2% were the target of road rage
● 17.6% experienced racial abuse
● 27% have been spat on
● 21.2% or one fifth have been physically attacked at the wheel (assaulted)
● 36.5% reported passengers assaulting other passengers on their bus
● 85.9% reported vandalism
● 95.3% reported carrying intoxicated passengers
● 58.8% say that the procedures in place are not adequate to ensuring safety in dealing with repeat offenders
Serious road safety issues impacting on the safety of passengers, drivers and road users were also exposed:
● 89.4% said that the Translink running schedule pressures drivers to drive unsafely
● 95.3% had been abused because their bus was late due to unrealistic timetables
● 84.7% said lack of buses and/or drivers serving a route pressures drivers to drive unsafely
● 98.8% believe the contract renewal process introduced by the Government will increase the pressure on drivers