Black Press Media file photo.

Bus driver assault in Vancouver once again raises safety concerns

A 49-year-old Surrey man was released on a promise to appear in court. No charge has been laid

Safety on the job for bus drivers is back in the news after police say a TransLink driver was assaulted in Vancouver while behind the wheel late Tuesday night, allegedly by a Surrey man.

Sergeant Clint Hampton of the Transit Police said a 49-year-old Surrey man was arrested in Metrotown in Burnaby following an assault near Cambie Street and 45th Avenue in south Vancouver at about 10:30 p.m. April 23.

He said the Surrey man was released on a promise to appear in court. No charge has been laid, he said.

Hampton said the driver was driving his bus when a man walked up to him from down the aisle.

“He then just punched the driver in the side of the face, while he was driving. The driver and a bystander were in a struggle with this suspect. They managed to get him off the bus. The suspect, actually, received an injury just above his eye,” Hampton said.

Later in the evening, he said, a man matching the description of the assailant was spotted in MetroTown, where Transit Police and Burnaby Mounties took him into custody.

“I would say we do deal with bus operator assaults, I wouldn’t say on a regular basis, but one is too many,” Hampton said. “It’s something that we take obviously seriously, we investigate them to the fullest of our ability, and anything we can do to mitigate these assaults from happening in the future, we will.”

READ ALSO: Bus drivers rally in Surrey for safer workplace

READ ALSO: TransLink investigating allegations mother was berated by bus driver

Unifor 111 represents more than 3,700 bus drivers in Metro Vancouver. “We want to have a healthy and safe work environment,” Harb Kular, its vice-president, told the Now-Leader. “In any workplace, everybody wants to make sure they get home safe to their families, right.”

In 2014, Transit Police launched a public awareness campaign concerning bus drivers being attacked and harassed, calling it “Don’t Touch the Operator.”

Anne Drennan, spokeswoman for the Transit Police, said at the time it “isn’t okay to take out frustrations or anger on a bus operator, that everybody deserves respect in their workplace and that buses are in fact the work place or places of work for our bus operators.”

TransLink’s quarterly board meeting on March 22 heard there were 89 bus driver assaults in 2018, down from 99 in 2017.



tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Tom on Twitter

Just Posted

Mixed Nuts a second year tradition for Maple Ridge dancer

Mixed Nuts is a unique interpretation of The Nutcracker

Pitt Meadows band takes all at The Roxy

Typical Dreamers win $5,000 in Vancouver competition

Create memories, not garbage this holiday season

Recycling depot in Maple Ridge will also be closed Christmas and New Year’s Day.

Adopt a family this Christmas in Maple Ridge

The Salvation Army Ridge Meadows Ministries are looking for sponsors

Good Reads: Holidays at Maple Ridge library

Annual Food for Fines campaign underway.

VIDEO: SNL skewers Trudeau’s mockery of Trump in high school cafeteria sketch

The three world leaders won’t let Trump sit at the cool kids’ table

B.C. universities post $340 million worth of surpluses thanks to international student tuition

Students call for spending as international enrolment produces huge surpluses at many universities

Conservatives urge Morneau to deliver ‘urgent’ fall economic update

Morneau says the first thing the Liberals plan to do is bring in their promised tax cut for the middle class

INFOGRAPHIC: How much money did your local university or college make last year?

B.C. university and colleges posted a combined $340 million surplus in 2018/19

B.C. creates $8.5M organization to improve safety for health care workers

Group will bring together unions, province, health care organizations

Four men in hospital after early morning Vancouver stabbing

A large group of men was seen fighting in Yaletwon

Kovrig clings to humour as ‘two Michaels’ near one year in Chinese prison

Their detention is widely viewed as retaliation for Canada’s arrest of Chinese high-tech scion Meng Wanzhou

B.C. VIEWS: An engine that hums right along

First Nations are leading a new surge of investment in B.C.

Most Read