Drivers abused seven times a month: survey

By: Graham Gardiner


A survey of 290 bus drivers throughout the Sydney basin has shown that they are verbally abused an average seven

A survey of 290 bus drivers throughout the Sydney basin has shown that they are verbally abused an average seven times a month and assaulted or threatened on average twice a month.

Transport Workers' Union NSW Secretary, Wayne Forno, says the biggest safety concerns and hazards bus drivers faced on a daily basis is unruly and aggressive passengers.

"On top of drivers being abused or threatened for a variety of reasons usually outside their control, our survey also shows that bus drivers are distracted while driving at least a dozen times a month because of passenger actions," he says.

"We want to remind passengers and commuters that while they are on a bus, their safety is in the drivers' hands and they must behave in a way that does not endanger those on the bus or in other vehicles."

More than a dozen bus drivers will be handing out postcards at Parramatta interchange on Thursday and Bankstown interchange Friday morning between 7.30am and 9am in order to bring awareness to the situation.

"We are calling on passengers to cooperate with drivers when there is a dangerous situation, and that includes helping police ensure offenders are brought to justice," Forno says.

"All too often a situation will happen and nobody will give a statement to the police. We need the public to support their public transport operators and come forward when required.

"Our survey results showed that drivers feel that either themselves or their passengers are in danger an average five times a month.

"We need to make sure bus drivers are free from distraction as they are in charge of our safety on the bus and on the road."

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