BC Transit highlight CCTV upgrades after man arrested in bus driver assault

A North Saanich man has been arrested after assaulting a bus driver and fleeing on foot.

Police in Sidney arrested a man accused of assaulting a BC Transit driver on Jan. 29.

Sidney/North Saanich RCMP members responded to a serious assault on a bus driver in the area of Lochside Drive and Bakerview Place in North Saanich, just after 7 a.m.

The driver suffered facial injuries and it was reported the passenger suspected of assaulting him fled on foot with a duffle bag.

The suspect was identified and arrested on Tuesday evening. The North Saanich man was released on the condition that he not enter or travel on any BC Transit bus.

Unifor Local 333, a union that represents BC Transit workers, is concerned at attacks on their members and are calling for more security measures to be implemented.

“I’m extremely frustrated it’s happened yet again,” said Ben Williams, Unifor Local President. “The only thing that will prevent these assaults are barriers and I have no idea why BC Transit continues to drag its feet on this.”

READ MORE: Greater Victoria bus driver assaulted by male passenger

BC Transit say that they ‘place the highest priority on safety’ and have installed CCTV cameras in over 600 buses across B.C.

In all, 373 buses have cameras installed by the Public Transit Infrastructure Fund (PTIF). Another 230 buses are new buses to be delivered with the technology already installed. The remainder of the BC Transit fleet will have cameras installed in new buses as older models are replaced over the next few years.

“The Government of Canada is proud to support these vital safety improvements to BC Transit buses across the province,” said François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, via a press release. “Having CCTV cameras on board will help reassure passengers that taking public transportation is a safe option no matter where you live.”

Since 2015, BC Transit has used CCTV footage to support 360 police investigations.

BC Transit say they have made significant investments in both training and tools for its transit safety system, including driver training, partnerships with first responders, enhanced communication technology on board the bus and a proof of concept for a full driver door.

Williams says that he supports the cameras but they are used to investigate offenders rather than prevent assaults.

“There are people with mental health and substance abuse problems and don’t care if a camera is there. People react poorly, without thinking and cameras aren’t preventative.”

Williams reports that in the last few weeks two drivers have been assaulted with a beverage being thrown on one and another spat on.

Police ask witnesses who observed this most recent assault, or can identify a suspect are requested to contact the Sidney/North Saanich RCMP Detachment at 250-656-3931, or Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).

Nick.murray@peninsulanewsreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sidney cadet takes home gold at South Island Zone biathlon

‘Rising star’ sets her sights on provincials

Future space homes could be made of mushrooms

NASA explores use of fungi to build structures in space

All Carlton Cards stores closing in the coming weeks

Schurman Retail Group stores across North America will close, including 79 in Canada

Meet Arthur Heart, Oak Bay Avenue’s resident stickman

Contest winner dubs stickman Art Heart

Four things ‘not’ to do if you run into Prince Harry and Meghan in B.C.

Here is a list of some things you definitely should NOT do, according to the BBC

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 21

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

B.C. RCMP spent roughly $750K on massive manhunt for Port Alberni men

Manitoba RCMP helped with 17-day search through the province’s northern terrain

Island Bakery in Cobble Hill to close

Cobble Hill store in business since 1982

Man killed by police in Lytton called 911, asking to be shot: RCMP

Howard Schantz, also known as Barry Schantz was killed following a standoff at his Lytton home

Canadian public health agencies ramping up preparations in response to new virus

Health officials have said there are no confirmed cases of the emerging coronavirus in Canada

‘Naughty boy’: Monty Python star Terry Jones dies at 77

The comedian has been suffering from a rare form of dementia

Most Read