Transit union goes to Ottawa to press for operator protection

Vancouver, BC, Canada / (CKNW AM) AM980

The union representing BC transit operators is in Ottawa Wednesday advocating for stiffer penalties for people who assault anyone working in the transit industry.
President of Unifor Local 111 Nathan Woods says he will testify before the Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs to support a bill that would amend the criminal code.
He says he understands there are workers in other professions who also face violence on the job.

“The difference between this is, of course, a transit worker has the lives of their passengers and their surroundings, pedestrians and motorists at stake as well. And recently we’ve seen assaults where the bus is moving in Metro Vancouver, and that puts more than just the driver at risk.”

The proposed bill would make an assault on a transit worker an aggravating factor during sentencing.


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    As a bus rider I am MUCH more concerned about my driver’s habit of running red lights downtown and going 80 KPH on the Lions Gate Bridge than I am about him getting beat up.

    If they are truly concerned about the ….”the lives of their passengers and their surroundings, pedestrians and motorists”…. lobby for some SEAT BELTS for us and stop running red lights downtown endangering pedestrians.

  2. Why are we still fooling around with this safety issue? Changes to criminal codes calling for stiffer penalties and so on will do little if anything to stop the assaults. On board cameras will not stop assaults in any way. The cameras will assist after the fact. Do as other transit systems have been doing for years. Call it a safety barrier, enclosure, cage or whatever you want but install them in all busses for the protection of the drivers.

  3. Would be a lot more impressed if the union wanted to protect everyone – including the bus driver. Why should a bus driver, passenger or anyone have special protection? The laws should be the same for every individual. If we need stiffer sentencing, do it across the board. But that might interrupt some of the lawyers’ incomes from the ‘frequent flyers’.