Security and Safety

New bill protects bus drivers from attacks, requires database reporting

Posted on June 19, 2018

Newly introduced legislation This legislation would require transit agencies to report all assaults on bus drivers to the U.S. DOT’s National Transit Database. Photo: LA Metro/Steve Hymon
Newly introduced legislation This legislation would require transit agencies to report all assaults on bus drivers to the U.S. DOT’s National Transit Database. Photo: LA Metro/Steve Hymon

LOS ANGELES — A new bill, which was introduced to help protect bus drivers from assaults, would require transit agencies install protective driver barriers on all buses, draw up plans to ensure bus driver safety and hand over data on operator assaults to the Federal Transit Administration, reported the San Gabriel Valley Tribune.

U.S. Rep. Grace F. Napolitano (D-CA-32), U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), and U.S. Rep. John Katko (R-NY-24) introduced the Bus Operator and Pedestrian Protection Act with the support of bus drivers and union leaders from across the country.

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Details of the Bus Operator and Pedestrian Protection Act

The Bus Operator and Pedestrian Protection Act gives transit agencies two years to develop Bus Operations Safety Risk Reduction Programs in partnership with their transit workforce, and with oversight from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). The bill authorizes $25 million per year for 5 years to pay for the implementation of these safety improvements as part of their Bus Operations Safety Risk Reduction Programs:

  • Assault mitigation infrastructure and technology, including barriers to prevent assault on bus drivers
  • De-escalation training for bus drivers
  • Modified bus specifications and retrofits to reduce visibility impairments
  • Driver assistance technology that reduces accidents
  • Installation of bus driver seating to reduce ergonomic injuries

This legislation will also require transit agencies to report all assaults on bus drivers to the U.S. DOT’s National Transit Database. It is supported by the ATU, International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail, and Transportation Workers (SMART), Transport Workers Union of America (TWU), AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department, and Teamsters.

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