Let’s Talk: Should there be tougher penalties for people who attack bus drivers?

All too often we hear about assaults against paramedics, police officers and doctors and nurses. But what about bus drivers?
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All too often we hear about assaults against paramedics, police officers and doctors and nurses.

But what about bus drivers?

You might remember back in October when a Brisbane bus driver was allegedly murdered while on the job.

Well, now unions are rallying behind bus drivers and calling for a review of bus safety and tougher penalties against people who assault drivers.

And who can blame them?!

While assaults on ambos, police officers and health workers can carry penalties of as long as 14 years jail, it’s not the same for bus drivers.

Transport Workers Union state secretary Peter Biagini told the ABC that instead of a slap on the wrist and a small fine, assaults against bus drivers should be penalised harshly.

“You attack a bus driver, similar if you attack an ambulance driver or a police officer,” he said.

“They are public servants and they should be protected equally.”

The Queensland Government is reviewing bus safety, but the unions want something done in the meantime.

Rail, Tram and Bus Union Assistant state secretary Tom Brown told the ABC bus drivers were sick of “being punching bags”.

“They’ve had enough of being abused, spat at… weapons pulled on them,” he said.

“It’s time somebody did something about it.”

“We’ve got a lot of faith in the review but those things are about six months down the track,” he said.

“We think that the employer can be doing something now.”

So, what is the solution?

Well, the unions are calling for security staff to be put on buses but unlike Victoria, they’re not pushing for security screens to protect drivers.

“We have some services that have security guards on them at night but not all services, so the security guards could be expanded in the interim,” Brown said.

You might be wondering why the unions aren’t calling for security screens?

Well, Biagini said bus drivers enjoyed interacting with their passengers.

“However we all have a duty of care to make sure that they’re safe and if it means out of this review it’s in the best interests of all drivers to have barriers on all buses, so be it,” he said.

Whatever happened to the days of courtesy towards bus drivers, when they were greeted with good morning and a smile or a simple thank you?

Do you think there should be tougher penalties against people who attack bus drivers?

  1. Ian m  

    I do not see why we should have differing levels of punitive measures for assaults on different occupations. Certainly some roles are more open to assault, however , safety should be the prime concern, If I walk down the street and am a victim of assault why should my assault perpetrater be likely to get a lesser conviction than say a bus driver or a policeman. Am I a lesser person just because I am not in a job that is covered under some legislation that says if you attack these people we value their worth more.
    All perpetrators of assault should be sentenced the same to the full extent of the law not be given a smack on the wrist that seems to be occurring at the moment.

    • Mark  

      I was going to make the same comment. I don’t need to add anything. Well said Sir.

      • I agree, assault is assault no matter who or what, but the penalties are obviously not enough, children need to learn respect in schools and everywhere else, bring back what we knew as National service but in a more “serving the public way of training”
        Service in hospitals, nursing homes and many other areas of daily life will give a sound training for future employment,

  2. [email protected]  

    yes the penalties for assaulting a bus driver are not up to what the people require. we, my wife and i are drivers and do not get the respect from our passengers that used to occur in the 60s and 70s thru to the early 90s. respect has gone out the window since we cannot chastise our younger folk. they like others need that direction that we as seniors remember. thank you

  3. Judith  

    There should be tougher penalties for anyone who attacks and injures another human being – some of the sentences handed down by the courts are just pathetic.

  4. Alan Murphy  

    Tougher penalties for every one who attacks any one

    • Madeleine  

      My thoughts exactly!

      Serious gaol time needed, as a deterrent.

      Current judiciary get ‘top marks’ for ‘wrist slapping’, & a huge FAIL for meting out actual justice!

  5. lurch  

    They are all public servants there to serve us, you assault them and you need to do hard time none of this “they were high on drugs or they have a mental problem” You abuse or assault a public servant, you do hard time.

  6. all our public servants do a great job ,and they deserve to be better protected

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