The director of Canada's Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Robin West, supports the installation of driver's safety shields on buses.
An ATU survey done in 2005 shows that 36 percent of transit workers have been physically assaulted during their career. Canadian transit systems reported 1,626 assaults against transit workers in 2007 and reported 2,064 assaults in 2008, an increase of 438 assaults.
"With the increase in assaults of transit workers, action has to be taken to protect operators. I applaud those transit properties in Edmonton, Vancouver and Toronto that are installing safety shields and encourage the others transit properties to follow suit. Operators are assaulted on a daily basis and safety shields can only help to reduce those assaults." said West.
West added, "Safety shields is just one step to reduce assaults on transit workers, another is to install video cameras on buses to deter those that would assault operators and to prosecute those that do. Yet another is for the Government to amend the Criminal Code of Canada to increase the punishment for assaulting public transit workers, so it is the same as assaulting peace officers, firefighters or ambulance attendance."