A year ago a fella driver was killed on the line of duty first time in Canada History with all due respect and prayers for the family back in those days this is what it was read back on those days:
Transit operator Irvine Fraser, 58, died after stabbing on University of Manitoba campus
While the death might be a first, assaults happen all the time on transit buses, said the AmalgamatedTransit Union (ATU).
Most are the result of a fare dispute, but an alarming number happen just because someone wants to do violence to a bus driver,” ATU international president Larry Hanley said in a statement.
“ATU demands that transit agencies and government officials bring the same sense of regret that they will display in the public mourning of this tragic, unnecessary death of our brother, to the ongoing discussion about preventing these attacks from occurring.”
John Callahan, ATU Local 1505 president in Winnipeg, said he was speechless when he found out about the death early Tuesday morning.
“It’s the scenario we always dreaded and it actually happened,” he said. “It was very sobering to say the least.”
Winnipeg has been taking steps in the right direction to increase driver safety but clearly it is not enough, Callahan said. Drivers face a lot of abuse on the job because “they are frontline … an easy target,” he said.
“This is just a guy doing his job and you should not end up dead at the end of your shift,” he said. “It’s tragic and we need to really have dialogue on things that can be done to protect these working men and women.”
Callahan said he has plans to speak with officials at the city about solutions including shields and other bus redesigns. But he said there’s no doubt in his mind that “we need dedicated transit police.”