100 signatures reached
To: Steven Marshall, Premier of South Australia
Enough is enough - Bus drivers deserve protection
Assaults on Adelaide bus drivers have reached a crisis point.
We are urgently calling on the Marshall Government to commit to the following:
1. Install full driver protection systems
2. Implement emergency communication devices to improve response time for serious incidents
3. Increase security on high-risk routes to improve safety for passengers and drivers
4. Move to a cashless fare system
5. Implement long term design modifications to ensure bus drivers are fully protected
6. An upgrade to the on board Bus Control Unit to improve data collection on assaults and fare evasion
7. A public safety campaign to raise awareness of appropriate behaviour when travelling on public transport and interacting with bus drivers
Why is this important?
Our bus drivers fear being killed or seriously injured for simply doing their job. We are aware of 9 assaults since last month alone.
As our recent Bus Driver Safety Survey shows, these are not isolated incidents. There is a wider crisis engulfing our bus network where bus driver abuse has become so normalised it is simply seen as part of the job.
Since March 2020, more than 40% of drivers now believe their job has become more unsafe and dangerous because of physical assaults and verbal abuse. Over 60% have been verbally abused and 7% physically assaulted in only 3 months.
We can’t rely on ‘official’ Government figures. The TWU and our members know the true figures are much higher. Bus drivers have stopped reporting physical and verbal assault because daily abuse is now just seen as part of the job and they believe nothing gets done.
Despite repeated attempts to engage with the former Minister for Transport, Stephan Knoll, to tackle this issue he repeatedly stuck his head in the sand and ignored the desperate calls from drivers to improve safety across the bus network. Minister Knoll did not even bother to show up to the TWU Bus Safety Summit which was attended by all key stakeholders, including bus operators, driver representatives, SAPOL, and the Opposition.
Bus drivers deserve respect and protection. The TWU has consistently improved safety and conditions and we will not stop fighting. Now we need your help as we demand the Marshall Government introduces the highest industry standards of safety for drivers!