Bus and Tram Express
Bus and Tram Express

Media release: Shocking attack on bus driver highlights need for new fines to stay in place post-COVID-19

Apr 22, 2020COVID19 News

A shocking attack in which a woman spat in the face of the bus driver highlights the need for the new NSW laws which allow $5000 fines and potential jail time to be handed down to people found to be spitting or coughing on workers during the COVID-19 pandemic to be extended past the current crisis period. 

The alleged offender was yesterday released after the shocking assault, which happened just days prior to the new laws protecting frontline workers came into place. The timing means she won’t be charged under the new laws. 

The attack occurred in Potts Point last week. 

Tram and Bus Division Secretary of the Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) NSW, said the incident is a clear clear sign the new laws to protect frontline workers need to stay in place, even once the COVID-19 crisis is behind us. 

“Any assault is unacceptable; being spat at is absolutely disgusting. No one should be put through that. We need harsh fines permanently in place to act as a deterrent to this kind of putrid attack,” Mr Babineau said. 

“Our bus drivers are simply out there doing their job. They should never be subjected to this kind of behaviour, particularly during the current difficult times.

“It’s fantastic that the NSW Government has taken action and introduced the new deterrents during the COVID-19 crisis. Incidents like this despicable attack highlight why we now keep to ensure they stay in place permanently.

“This bus driver and his family now faces an agonising wait while the test results which will confirm whether he contracted anything during the attack come back. It’s a shocking situation for anyone to be put in.

“We need to take a zero tolerance approach to this kind of behaviour. Not just during the current health crisis, but permanently.”  

Watch the Ch7 story here.