Metro Transit bus drivers in Minneapolis are faced with challenges each and every day. Aside from having to get their passengers to their desired destinations in a safe manner despite having to share the road with inattentive and distracted drivers, they also have to operate their bus in inclement weather. And this can be difficult for any driver. But that isn’t all. Bus drivers sometimes come face to face with aggressive or rowdy passengers who take it upon themselves to harm them. And not only does this interfere with their driving, but also threatens their life.
It is for this very reason that the Metro Transit and the union launched a pilot program back in May that would allow Plexiglass bulletproof shields to be installed in their buses. These shields are placed around the bus driver to protect them from an angry passenger or someone else who is looking to harm them. Fox 9 shared a video clip that went viral showing a passenger attacking a bus driver and hitting him repeatedly. Sadly, this bus driver is only one of many who are subjected to such circumstances. And with 1,500 bus drivers out operating buses and all at risk of being the next victim, Metro Transit felt it was time to install “new safety measures to keep drivers safe while on their routes.”
Back at the beginning of May, 21 buses had already had the Plexiglass shield installed in them. Apparently, there are several models of the shield that can be installed in the buses but the one the drivers have been testing out has the ability to slide open or the bus driver can choose to keep it closed. Some of the other models completely cover the driver.
How are bus drivers reacting to these new safety measures?
According to Brian Funk, who is the Deputy Chief of Bus Operations, drivers have been giving mixed reviews so far. He said some find that they like the added protection while others feel is “interferes with the personal connection they have with long-time riders.” But, Funk says the overall goal of the shield is to protect these drivers and it even buys them time so that they can use their radio system to communicate to police dispatch and call for help in the event someone becomes disorderly while on the bus. With the pilot program already running a few months now, there may be more buses that have the shields installed, although Funk stated that there was no “firm timetable for installing safety devices on all of the 900 Metro Transit buses.”
Are you a bus driver who has been involved in an accident in MN?
A Minneapolis bus accident lawyer can explore all your options with you in terms of collecting compensation for your injuries and even for the time you spent away from work.
Now, if you are a bus driver in the Minneapolis area and have been injured in a bus accident or while operating your bus, you are encouraged to contact a Minneapolis, MN bus crash attorney. The reason being is that you may be entitled to collect compensation from multiple parties and/or insurance companies. And if you want to be sure you are fairly compensated by these parties, you will want a bus accident attorney backing you up. One of the best attorneys in the field who has helped numerous clients recover the compensation they deserve is Martin T. Montilino. To get your free consultation scheduled to discuss your incident in depth, call 612-236-1320 today.
You can also reach the Law Office of Martin T. Montilino at:
3109 Hennepin Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55408