In light of a stabbing at the University of Manitoba Tuesday that left a bus driver dead, there’s a renewed call here in Vancouver to protect drivers.
“Now, one of our brothers across Canada has been murdered.”
Veteran bus driver Charles Dixon was punched in the head at the Edmonds Bus Loop back in 2011.
He says today marks the six year anniversary of that assault.
Dixon says changes need to be made.
“Number one, judges across Canada have to start putting people away for laying a finger on transit operators,” he says.
He claims operators are verbally and physically assaulted daily.
“We’re out here for the people that board our buses and we’re just trying to do our job to the best of our capability getting people from point A to point B safely and quickly as possible… The judges in Canada have to come down and make a statement to the public to leave the drivers alone.”
Dixon was attacked after he asked a man who boarded his bus through the back door to line up with other passengers at the front.
TransLink weighs in
TransLink says the number of physical attacks on drivers has gone down from 125 per year to around 100 following a campaign to end assaults on operators.
But spokesperson Anne Drennan says attacks are still too common.
“It’s still far too many. Nobody deserves to go to work expecting that it’s quite likely that you may be assaulted in some way.”
Drennan says the times when drivers are spat on, or verbally assaulted aren’t taken into account.
Winnipeg police have charged a 22-year-old man with second degree murder following the death of the bus driver on Tuesday.
And in Kelowna, a bus driver was assaulted while the bus was still moving earlier this week.
With files from Kyle Benning