The Palaszczuk Government has announced it will introduce a raft of measures to bolster safety on south east Queensland buses.
A new TV campaign, together with a 12-month trial increasing the presence of officers on westside services and more safety barriers, will soon be rolled out to target violence against bus drivers.
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey made the announcement today while meeting with operators, unions and bus drivers at a special safety forum in Brisbane.
It follows eight new TransLink recruits last week starting the final phase of their training before they join the south east’s 49 senior network officers later this year.
“From government to passengers, bus operators and unions – we can all agree: there’s absolutely zero tolerance for violence against bus drivers,” Mr Bailey said.
New TV ads will air in coming weeks featuring real-life violent scenarios faced on the network by drivers, with the simple message: this behaviour against bus drivers is not acceptable.
“Everybody should be able to go to work and do their job without facing the threat of being physically or verbally assaulted.”
“That’s why we’re also funding a 12-month trial with the Westside Bus Company to deploy eight Customer Service Officers to ride on Ipswich services.”
Member for Ipswich Jennifer Howard welcomes the partnership between the Palaszczuk Government and local bus operators.
“The presence of new Customer Service Officers, together TransLink’s Senior Network Officers, will deter anti-social behaviour and make sure that people aren’t evading fares as well,” Ms Howard said.
Mr Bailey said the Palaszczuk Government would also help fund new driver safety barriers and anti-shatter window for buses in Caboolture as part of a partnership with local bus company Caboolture Buslines.
After last year launching a $3.93 million fund to help bus companies install driver safety barriers, Mr Bailey said more than 50 per cent of buses in Queensland would have a driver safety barrier by June 2020.
“The Palaszczuk Government takes the safety of bus drivers and all passengers seriously. It’s why we launched a five-point bus driver safety plan in June last year, and are now strengthening that commitment.
“Our bus drivers play an important role, working on the frontline, making sure they get millions of passengers every year to their destination safely.”
Transport Workers’ Union (Queensland Branch) Secretary Peter Biagini said the Transport Workers’ Union welcomes the ongoing efforts of the Palaszczuk Government in fighting back against the scourge of violence against bus drivers.
“We know that having more enforcement on the buses, as well as improving safety measures such as driver barriers, will have a tangible and positive impact on bus driver safety across Queensland,” Mr Biagini said.
“We are proud to work with this Government to ensure that our members can make it home safe after their shift.”