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Go further to protect bus drivers from abuse

It is ridiculous that people still think it is okay to assault or abuse bus drivers (“SBS Transit to provide legal, financial help to employees abused by the public”; Sept 17).

Go further to protect bus drivers from abuse

Relaying videos to the police instantly and installing protective shields on all public buses are among the writer’s suggestions to protect bus drivers.

Francis Cheng Choon Fei

It is ridiculous that people still think it is okay to assault or abuse bus drivers (“SBS Transit to provide legal, financial help to employees abused by the public”; Sept 17). 

When a bus driver is attacked, it is not just their life that is at stake. Commuters who attempt to separate the assailant from the driver also put themselves in danger.

We need bus drivers to be safe at work, a fundamental right for any worker. To prevent abuse or assault, transport operators should upgrade their on-board surveillance systems that can relay instant videos to police.  

This can be done by installing an emergency button that, when activated, will transmit live images to police for a fast response.

Transport operators should also install protective shields around drivers on their entire fleet, rather than take a piecemeal approach.

Increasing training, with a heavier focus on the de-escalation of conflicts and mental health awareness, may help to prepare drivers for such unwelcome incidents.

We also need greater cooperation from management and unions to enhance this emphasis on protection.

Employers and trade unions should step up their engagement with the authorities to ensure that there is a coordinated and effective network of support and mechanisms designed to make public transport safe for employees. 

The Government ought to beef up penalties for assaulting and abusing drivers. Putting up signs explaining in detail the punishments for commuters who abuse and assault drivers will serve to warn commuters.

It is only with the cooperation of all agencies to guarantee the safety and security of bus drivers that we can achieve a safe, efficient and reliable public transport system.

If commuters do not like being told what to do, they should simply wear their masks properly.

When bus drivers point out that they are not wearing a mask or wearing one incorrectly, they should thank the drivers instead of resorting to abuse or assault. Bus drivers are just doing their job after all.

Have views on this issue or a news topic you care about? Send your letter to voices [at] mediacorp.com.sg with your full name, address and phone number.

Related topics

public transport abuse assault bus driver

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