The Queensland Government will roll out a five-point safety package for bus drivers across the state. The package includes grants for driver safety barriers and will tackle violence against bus drivers.
The package is released as part of its final response to the Bus Driver Safety Review.
“No one should be afraid while simply doing their job,” said Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey.
“Everyone deserves to be safe and secure on our public transport network and this package demonstrates we are serious and committed to working with bus operators, drivers, and the public to improve driver safety and reduce risk.”
The five-point safety plan will provide:
- Physical safety measures – $3.93m for protective driver safety barriers to be installed in buses, $1.54m for anti-shatter window film installation on all Queensland buses, and reinforce contractual requirements for operators to provide onboard CCTV, duress and radio systems.
- Targeting high-risk areas and building a safety culture – consistent and simplified incident reporting in order to ensure resources aimed at improving driver safety are deployed where they are most needed
- Policy and procedure changes – Introduce a Code of Conduct for Passengers, improve incident reporting procedures and provide customer service cards to drivers to assist with de-escalation of potential incidents
- Education and increased safety awareness – develop a public awareness campaign promoting safe travel behaviours and expand the Step Up school safety education program
- Sharing best industry practice – De-escalation training, recruitment and training processes, and fare evasion awareness
Mr. Bailey said Queensland operators may apply for 50:50 Government grants to install driver safety barriers in buses which travel in high-risk areas.
“Operators will be able to apply for the bus driver barrier grants which will give them flexibility to install their choice of a full or partial barrier, in consultation with their workforce.
“Anti-shatter film and targeting Senior Network Officers where they are needed most will improve physical safety. Meanwhile, the public awareness campaign and expanded school education program will help raise awareness about the impacts of bus driver abuse.”
A code of conduct for passengers has been published on the TransLink website. On-board signage will be rolled out this month.
The final response includes an anti-shatter film trial, Step Up education program and customer service cards.
“This response is about creating safer work environments and respecting our bus drivers and the important job they have of keeping Queensland moving,” said Mr. Bailey.
“We continue to meet with bus drivers and transport workers through the Bus Safety Forum and I look forward to working with the industry and the broader community to implement the Government’s plan in the coming months.”