TWU calls drivers to action after attacks

By: Jason Whittaker

The Transport Workers Union Western Australia (TWU) is urging bus drivers to report incidents of violence after two drivers were

The Transport Workers Union Western Australia (TWU) is urging bus drivers to report incidents of violence after two drivers were attacked on Perth services on Friday (July 31).

A female bus driver was attacked by a passenger as he left a CAT bus at the Mount Hospital on Mounts Bay Road in Perth.

At around 12.40pm on Friday the 31 year old driver requested the man leave the bus.

The passenger allegedly became abusive toward her, got up from his seat and struck the driver several times to the head, leaving her with a deep gash to her forehead. She later required three stitches to the wound above her left eye.

The man has been charged with Assault Public Officer and will appear before the Perth Magistrates Court on August 5, 2009.

And a bus driver underwent surgery for an eye injury after being assaulted in a group attack in Perth’s south east the same evening.

Armadale Detectives are looking for six to eight youths who assaulted a 59 year old male bus driver at around 6:40pm on Friday.

The Transperth bus was travelling down Church Avenue Armadale and as it approached the intersection of Sixth Road a group of about six to eight youths slapped the bus to gain the driver’s attention.

A youth slapped on the door of the bus, wanting the driver to open the door, which he did.

The youth boarded the bus and hit the bus driver with a piece of concrete before kicking him on the left side of his torso.

The driver received injuries to his face and eye and was later taken to hospital.

As the assault was taking place, several of the other youths threw another piece of concrete at the front of the bus, smashing the windscreen.

Following the assault of the driver, the offender alighted from the bus and ran off with the other youths towards the Armadale train station.

The TWU is calling on drivers to fill out a survey to report incidences of verbal abuse, physical assault, spitting, attack by projectile (either an object being thrown inside or outside the bus while driving) or having a laser device pointed them while driving.

The TWU says drivers have made all sorts of suggestions for action over the attacks, up to and including strike action.

"We want stiffer penalties – including long jail terms for those who attack drivers," the TWU says in a statement. "Things have got seriously out of control."

It says total incidents including rock attacks jumped from 5000 a year to 6500 a year.

Consideration is being given to the installation of new security screens to stop spitting and people throwing things at, or over, drivers, on all Transperth buses, the TWU says.

Police are seeking the public’s assistance in relation to the attack on the Armadale driver. The youths are described as dark skinned males. If anyone witnessed the incident or has any information about the offenders, contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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