Bus driver union fed up with Sudbury Transit assaults
Sudbury police investigating most recent assault, but union wants bus driver safety addressed
Posted: Mar 7, 2013 11:38 AM ET
Last Updated: Mar 7, 2013 3:50 PM ET
Something has to be done about the safety of Sudbury's bus drivers says the union representing them. The call for action comes after a female driver says she was assaulted by a passenger last week.
Sudbury Police are investigating the matter, but now the wheels are rolling in a larger conversation about what to do about bus driver safety.Sudbury Transit rider Jonni-Lyn Bennett says she is frequently witness to rude comments toward city bus drivers. (Hilary Duff/CBC)
One frequent bus rider said she's seen her fair share of incidents between drivers and passengers.
"I've seen a lot of comments that were rude towards bus drivers, like calling them idiots, things like that,” Jonni-Lyn Bennett said.
According to the head of the union representing Sudbury transit workers, that kind of verbal abuse happens on a daily basis — and it's not just verbal abuse they face, either.
"March last year there was a sexual assault,” Rick Leroux, president of CUPE Local 4705, said.
“There was somebody arrested and banned from the buses. And … a couple of months ago … one of our male drivers was shot with a pellet gun."
Leroux said he'd like panic buttons installed on city buses and for a security guard to be on board for all late-night runs.
He also called for an emergency meeting between the city and its bus drivers to discuss safety
"There should be some kind of emergency meeting with our health and safety committee so they can work on this kind of stuff together,” Leroux said.
“And they should be involving the drivers and hear from the drivers themselves about how to make their workplace safe."
Greater Sudbury Transit reports it will begin installing video cameras on its buses next week.
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