Sunday night saw two Gold Coast buses on Translink controlled routes targeted by rock throwers, resulting in the injury of two passengers and the suspension of buses while police searched for the perpetrators.
Transport Workers’ Union Queensland Secretary Peter Biagini today expressed his concern over the safety of drivers and passengers on Translink routes on the Queensland public transport system.
“This could have gone a lot worse, the fact that two people were only slightly injured is incredibly lucky” said Biagini.
“If the driver had been struck by this rock, this incident could have resulted in serious injury or death”
“It’s quite frankly ridiculous that people still think it’s okay to assault bus drivers and passengers, but we know that these individuals are in the minority – most people don’t want to see drivers and passengers injured”
“We now have well over 10,000 signatures on our Get On Board petition which is calling on Translink to improve driver safety”
“When a bus driver is attacked, it’s not just their life – it’s the passengers, and other people on the road”
“We need bus drivers to be safe at work, a fundamental right for any worker, and something that Translink doesn’t appear to be taking seriously”
The Transport Workers’ Union will continue the campaign to end bus driver assaults, calling on Translink to do more to protect drivers.
Media Contact: Tom Millroy 0411 875 910
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:
- 98.8% of bus drivers experienced mechanical issues with their bus
- Mechanical issues reported were of a serious nature impacting safety, with 43.5% of drivers reporting faulty brakes and 41.2% reporting faulty tyres
- Drivers reported that buses were put back on the road without the safety issues being fixed, with a significant 83.5% stating that they had reported a maintenance issue that had not been resolved next time they drove the bus
- 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 competitive tendering process soon to be introduced by the government will increase the pressure on drivers.