Fear on the buses
The former Transport Workers Union delegate doubts bureaucrats will do more to protect its drivers, despite yet another assault of a driver in Bidwill on July 20.
"I was a delegate so I know how they operate," the experienced driver told the Star.
In the wake of five attacks within a fortnight across Mt Druitt in March, Westbus listened to its drivers and took swift action to temporarily employ security guards on night services while cage-like security screens were manufactured and installed on 43 buses.
Busways declared Chestnut Crescent as a no-go zone after the recent attack. Arrangements are in place for school students.
"The safety of our drivers and passengers is paramount," a Busways spokesman said. "Safety measures in place now include driver security screens, security cameras, two-way radio communication, ongoing driver training and Busways is constantly reviewing procedures relating driver safety and where needed changes implemented."
The Busways driver said driver screens have been in place for 10 years and don't protect a driver if king-hit.
He is disappointed officials said no to guards and self- defence training after the March attacks.
Busways refuted union claims the two-way radio was broken in the Bidwill attack and claimed the driver failed to use the security screen.
The Busways driver heard conflicting versions of events but said radios were known to be "less than perfect".
He supports Westbus's measures but said some colleagues needed convincing.
A Westbus bus was on display at Busways' Glendenning depot at an occupational health and safety meeting on Friday.
"Some don't like the cages but their minds change if something happens to them," he said.
"There was a driver who wasn't happy about the 'nightride' service avoiding Debrincat Avenue a few years ago. That was until I got a call at 2am after a five-kilogram dumbbell went through his window."