Started by ozbob, July 22, 2010, 02:55:52 AM
There's been a surge in the number of bus driver assaults, with 16 recorded attacks in VIC this year alone. #9Today https://t.co/dN4084CAzn— The Today Show (@TheTodayShow) October 19, 2016
There's been a surge in the number of bus driver assaults, with 16 recorded attacks in VIC this year alone. #9Today https://t.co/dN4084CAzn
QuoteProtective Services Officers will gain new powers to make arrests, conduct searches for drugs and respond to incidents around train stations they are patrolling. Under new legislation to be introduced to parliament this week, PSOs will be able to arrest someone who has breached their parole and request names and addresses of people who witness crimes. PSOs to get stronger powersProposed legislation will grant Protective Services Officers new powers including the ability to conduct arrests, drug searches and respond to incidents at train stations.Police Minister Lisa Neville said PSOs would have stronger powers to participate in major events such as Moomba and carry out weapons searches. She said there would also be new mobile teams that can move across the transport network. "This is about getting to those hotspots, whether they're on a tram or bus network or at our train stations," Ms Neville said. Opposition leader Matthew Guy said the PSO announcement had come two years too late. "We've been going through a crime wave for a long time now," he said.The previous Coalition government promised during the 2010 election campaign to place PSOs at every metropolitan and some regional railway stations in the evenings. PSOs will continue patrolling railway stations from 6pm to the final train but there will be 16 mobile units each with three officers.The PSOs will undergo the same training as police for the expanded powers such as drug searches. They currently receive training every six months.However, they will not conduct investigations or lay charges. Greens MP Colleen Hartland slammed the changes, saying the new powers would not make the community safer and would encourage people under the influence of drugs to drive."We've been treating personal drug use as a criminal problem for decades and it's gotten us nowhere," she said. Police Association secretary Wayne Gatt welcomed the expanded powers, which would allow PSOs to work more flexibly.He said the community had provided "extraordinary feedback" about the work that PSOs were doing."It is making people safer on trains," Sergeant Gatt said.Victoria Police Superintendent Andrea McAlpine said PSOs can currently search people for weapons but the new powers would enhance their ability to search for illicit drugs.
QuoteA MELBOURNE train driver's emotional announcement over the intercom of a packed city-bound train sparked an incredible reaction from passengers on their morning commute.The Metro employee was hugged by scores of passengers after the train arrived at Flinders Street Station this morning.It followed a teary announcement explaining why the service was delayed.The woman had been driving a Frankston Line express when she narrowly avoided hitting a pedestrian who skipped through a level crossing at Parkdale around 8:15am.The near-miss proved all too much for the driver who used the train's PA to explain that she had "almost hit somebody'' and had been awake for hours."I've been on since 2am, I get it," she said."I want to get you guys to work. I want to go home myself."Nobody needs to tap their watches or clap their hands ... you don't know why the trains are running late."I'm sorry for that. I'm sorry for the fact we are running so late."Like I said, be grateful for the fact this train even ran ..."To everybody who has been lovely and hasn't decided to do all these passive aggressive things or get on the PA and abuse me, you've been fantastic I truly appreciate and thank you very much for your patience."The extraordinary announcement drew puzzled looks from commuters but others were quick to approach her to show their support when the train eventually pulled into the final platform.She cried as she was hugged by strangers in the emotional scene.Metro spokeswoman Sammie Black said support services were in place to help drivers involved with near misses and fatalities."We are extremely grateful for all the well wishes and care shown towards our driver who was involved in a near hit,'' she said."We will be passing every message onto her and we know that she has been very appreciative of the support received."Our team is focused on ensuring our driver's wellbeing, as part of our trauma assistance program.''Ms Black said drivers were unable to swerve or stop quickly and such incidents can have a traumatic effect."It's especially important to take care around level crossings, for both cars and pedestrians,'' she said."If the boom gates are down then it is unsafe to cross, even if a train appears to be some distance away.''She said the driver had been met by a manager and took a short break before continuing.
QuoteEvery eight days someone dies on Victoria's rail network, the highest rate of rail deaths in the country.Retired train driver and guard Barry* says the constant carnage on the tracks can make going to work feel like a war zone.Over his 35-year-long career, Barry had at least 70 "near misses" - moments when he nearly struck a person on the tracks.And then there was the schoolboy.Barry remembers the boy's body under a tarpaulin. Spurred by the excitement of seeing his girlfriend across a level crossing in Melbourne's north, the boy had scampered across the tracks, blind to a fast-moving train headed towards him.It happened more than 20 years ago, but Barry, who was called to the scene, can't shake the memory."You wake up at night and wonder what if, what if, what if," he said.Barry retired recently after being diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder from what he witnessed while driving."There are lots of drivers who go round saying they can cope with it, but they don't. It leads to marriage break ups and alcoholism."Victoria has had the country's highest number of train related fatalities for at least four years.In the past year, there were 41 deaths on Victoria's rail network, including 37 suicides, the National Rail Safety Regulator reports.This compares with 33 deaths in NSW, nine in WA, five in South Australia and none in the other states and territories.It is a complex area that will now be examined by public transport minister Jacinta Allan and mental health and transport infrastructure experts in a roundtable this December.The session will be held in partnership with TrackSafe and Lifeline, and will outline a new strategy to "reduce the rate of suicide on Victoria's road and rail network", Ms Allan said.Experts say more protective infrastructure, including basic fencing along the train lines, is needed in order to save lives.Ninety per cent of Victoria's train corridors are unfenced, while Melbourne's168 level crossings also pose a safety risk.In NSW, most of the metropolitan train corridors are fenced off, and there are just 12 level crossings in the metropolitan area. Researchers from Melbourne and Monash universities found that the majority of deaths on Victoria's rail network between 2001 and 2012 happened on open tracks.Over the same period, there were five mental health institutions treating inpatients located within suicide cluster zones, the researchers found."There may still be opportunities for reducing access to these parts of the track at cluster areas using physical barriers such as fencing or removing level crossings," they said."This has the potential to buy time to allow suicidal individuals to reconsider their actions and enable others to intervene."Increasing surveillance such as installing video cameras along the track at cluster locations may also be useful."Up to 20 kilometres of fencing has already gone up at known suicide "hot spots" around Melbourne as part of a $3.9 million program funded by the federal government.The new infrastructure also includes signage and lighting, and is being rolled out across sections of the Pakenham, Cranbourne and Frankston lines.Psychologist Jo Robinson from Orygen Health said restricting access to high-risk areas resulted in fewer suicides."It's a real myth, that people will go ahead and do it anyway," she said. Stations in the $11 billion Melbourne Metro Tunnel will be fitted with sliding screen doors that will serve as a barrier between the platform and the tracks.But Daniel Bowen, spokesman for the Public Transport Users Association, said it was unclear if the doors would be retro-fitted to existing platforms across the network."You wouldn't let people wander onto freeways; the same should apply to railways," he said.*Name has been changedAnyone needing support can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 www.lifeline.org.au, or Beyondblue on 1300 224 636 www.beyondblue.org.au.
QuoteA rail car that carries out high-level safety checks on the state's railway tracks is plagued by mechanical faults, leaving parts of the regional rail network unmonitored and risking train delays.The 30-year-old locomotive IEV100 travels across the entire metropolitan and regional network at least once every three months to detect track faults that cannot be spotted by the human eye.But a leaked document reveals that the government-owned machine is itself faulty, and has had to be pulled off the network for maintenance, leaving swathes of track unchecked.An asset performance review paper by Public Transport Victoria and V/Line, seen by The Age, warns that scheduled maintenance checks were cancelled twice on the Warrnambool corridor due to mechanical failures, putting the track "out of compliance".The machine, which is maintained by Metro Trains and leased to V/Line for thousands of dollars a day, is understood to have been out of service for two weeks last month, creating a backlog of scheduled runs.A fault with the track-inspection machine was detected in June, but had still not been fixed two months later, the internal document from early August shows.The backlog of checks that haven't been done risks creating "operational delays", the document warned."MTM [Metro Trains Melbourne] have been requested to undertake repairs with V/Line awaiting an indicative timeframe to machine availability," the review paper states."There are several scheduled runs that will now be out of compliance with several overdue runs being pushed further out of compliance."The service with MTM is not currently delivering the minimum compliance requirements."Public operator V/Line pays Metro a "significant cost" for every day the regional operator uses the rail car, the document highlights. The service with MTM is not currently delivering the minimum compliance requirements.Under the terms of a contract with Metro, V/Line pays $18,000 for a day, even if the use of the vehicle is limited.V/Line is charged extra every time it converts the gauge of the vehicle, forking out a total of $200,000 for the last two times this occurred, the document shows.When the IEV100 is out of service, V/Line pays a further $4000 a day to send out safety inspectors weekly to check that the track is safe.It is understood that V/Line pays Metro up to $2 million a year for using the locomotive.But the temporary safety checks put in place while the machine is out of action "do not provide the same level of assurance", the document warns."The mitigations are designed as a short-term interim measure to monitor existing faults or rapid deterioration," the document states. "They are not intended to identify the development [of] new faults."V/Line is now mounting a case to soften the tough contractual requirements with Metro and wants to look into buying a new machine.Metro spokesman Marcus Williams said the locomotive was reaching the end of its life, and the company was following a maintenance program until it was replaced.Rail Tram and Bus Union state secretary Luba Grigorovitch said it was wrong that the state should pay a private operator to use a government-owned machine."Metro should not be making money from a core safety requirement of the system. The government deserves better oversight of network maintenance," she said.A V/Line spokesperson said: "The IEV100 is one of many tools we use as part of a broader regular maintenance program that keeps our trains running safely and smoothly".
QuoteTwo teenagers have been left bruised and traumatised after being assaulted and mugged when they were surrounded by up to 20 youths outside a train station in Melbourne's west.The father of one of the teenagers also claimed that Protective Service Officers failed to do enough to help his 14-year-old son during the attack.Anthony Ferrari's son Xavier was on his way home from the movies with his 17-year-old friend Ricky when the pair was surrounded by a group of up to 20 youths at the Wyndham Vale station's bus interchangeon Sunday evening.
QuoteA gang of African youths have terrorised shoppers during an early morning rampage at a Coles supermarket.Up to 20 young people stormed the supermarket in Taylors Hill, Melbourne about 6.40am on Wednesday.The gang stole products off the shelves and shoved customers to the ground before fleeing the scene.
QuoteYarraville, Deer Park, West Footscray and Wyndham Vale stations recorded between 30 to 39 crimes each (compared to 48 previously in Yarraville, 15 in Deer Park, 29 in West Footscray and 17 in Wyndham Vale).
QuoteA group armed with baseball bats has targeted young men of African appearance, with the weapon-wielding caucasian youths descending on Wyndham Vale train station this afternoon in an alarming escalation of Melbourne's gang tensions.
QuoteA furious mother whose son was savagely attacked by a gang of vicious thugs at Hampton Beach wants the culprits caught as soon as possible.Helen, who didn't want her surname published, said the "terrifying" attack had left her 15-year-old son and his two mates "petrified".The three boys were sitting by the water near the Hampton Life Saving Club about 9pm on January 14 when they were surrounded by a group of 15 youths.
QuoteNot sure why the murder rate is so high in Eastern Europe compared to Western Europe though (3-4 times as high in the case of Belarus and Estonia).
Quote13. The situation in Eastern Europe is different. Historically, most of Eastern Europe experienced homicide rates not so different from those of Western European countries, but the fall of the Berlin Wall, in 1989, ushered in a period of intensive change. There were dramatic political realignments and also an economic transformation, featuring the fierce competition associated with early capitalism. During that period of flux, homicide rates shot up rapidly, and remained high for a decade.3 14. Over time, however, the situation stabilized, and the unpredictability of the transition years faded away. By the early 2000s, economic growth rates had become strongly positive, coinciding with rapidly decreasing homicide rates. In most countries, the number of murders in Eastern Europe in 2014 was between one half and one fifth of those in the early 2000s (see figure V), one of the most dramatic subregional crime trends on record.
QuoteThe last thing John Roberts remembers is the train hitting the side of his head.He doesn't recall getting knocked from his feet, or being dragged 20 metres next to the train before his crumpled body was slammed into the platform wall.The train kept moving. A man on the platform raised the alarm.That was at Heatherdale station on Easter Saturday. The 57-year-old father from Lilydale has been at the Royal Melbourne Hospital ever since.He has undergone six operations and will probably need more. His brother Paul said he'd been told John may not walk again.CCTV shows John tried to board the train after it had taken off.Even so, Paul said the accident could have been avoided if there had been a guard on the train."Metro has a moral obligation to take care of the passengers. They take their money," he said."There are plenty of old, frail people out there struggling to get on trains."The Roberts family is not alone in calling for guards to be reintroduced after carriage doors separated a mother from her baby in a pram at Southern Cross Station last Friday.Metro Trains has revealed similar incidents in which children are separated from their parents happen about once a fortnight.At Southern Cross Station, the mother rushed to the doors as they were closing but only managed to get the pram carrying her child on board. Passengers took care of the child, and mother and baby were reunited at Flagstaff station minutes later.While passengers sometimes do the wrong thing, the Rail, Tram and Bus Union believes the incident is indicative of a broader safety problem.The union is calling for Metro to have guards on trains or safety staff on all platforms to tackle problems arising from Melbourne's booming number of commuters and the increased pressure on drivers to stick to timetables."It's not enough to continue with business as usual. The safety and reliability of our network demands adequate staffing now," union secretary Luba Grigorovitch said.She said new high-capacity trains being introduced for the Metro Tunnel posed additional risks due to greater length, poorer visibility and more passengers.There have been 23 "passenger boarding" incidents so far this year, compared with 33 in the same period last year. These include incidents involving doors, or the gap between a station platform and a train.It is not known how many times passengers were at fault, but Metro executive director of safety Tim Maher said the message was simple: "Never try to force open the doors of a departing train.""It's not worth risking serious injury, or worse, in the rush for a train."Tim Haslett wasn't doing the wrong thing. He was simply getting off a train with his wife and two grandchildren at East Richmond last December when his four-year-old grandson Winton's arm was caught in a carriage door.It happened in a split second. They were slowed getting off the train when the wheel of their pram got stuck in the platform gap. The doors closed around Winton's limb and didn't open again.Mr Haslett was holding Winton's hand. He pulled hard enough to free him before the train took off.Winton wasn't injured, but Mr Haslett is haunted by what could have easily been a horrendous outcome."The consequences of my not having got Winton out of the doors ... he would've been dragged along ... and eventually he would've come loose and fallen on the tracks. He would've been dead," he said.A Metro review of the incident seen by The Age confirmed the driver didn't leave the doors open for an appropriate length of time and the area was not clear when the "door closure procedure" was activated.Drivers use side mirrors, video monitors and cabin warning lights to ensure passengers are safely on board. If a door is unable to close, the system is programmed to immediately alert the driver and render the train immobile.If a train door is identified as faulty, all passengers have to get off and the empty train has to travel back to the depot.Mr Haslett, a systems theorist who has worked with the Australian Defence Force, said "everyone on Melbourne's trains will have seen people getting stuck in the doors" and Metro's response was "not good enough"."I'm 75. I don't think Metro should be saying to me, 'You need to be moving quicker, Tim.' "More than 400 train guards were removed from the network in the early 1990s. V/Line, however, has kept conductors on every train.Peter Gregory was a guard, driver and trainer of drivers during a 35-year career working on Melbourne trains. He said there was an incident "every single trip" when he was a guard.Drivers faced an unfair burden of responsibility since guards were removed, he said."You're on your own and if anything happens you have to suffer the consequences on your own."Blind activist Martin Stewart was one of the first people to campaign against the removal of guards, warning injuries and deaths were an inevitable consequence.Little did he know, the accident he predicted was his own.It was February 4, 2002. Heading home from work via Richmond station, Mr Stewart reached out with his cane to feel for a door and fell in a gap. His accident occurred exactly where the guard's carriage used to be.He lost his right arm, half his right leg and part of his left ear.The train driver did not see Mr Stewart fall. Nor did they see the person who ran to the front of the train to warn them not to take off.Mr Stewart suffered serious friction burns to most of his body as he was dragged under the carriage.The father of four describes train guards as the "lifeguards" of the transport system.He said technology would never replace humans who could hear, see and communicate danger."You've got to have someone whose specific duty is to watch over people on and off the train," he said."It's just a commonsense thing to keep people safe."Mr Stewart met NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance last year before the state ruled out its own introduction of driver-only trains.Mr Constance instead agreed to permanently roster two staff on each inter-city train, "to help people with disabilities, parents with prams, or the elderly to get on and off at stations".That decision has set Mr Stewart back on the warpath."Every time I hear about an accident I know is avoidable, it traumatises me further," he said.Metro employs more than 1100 station staff and 300 authorised officers, deployed strategically across the network.Authorised officers are tasked with "active platform duties", including helping passengers get on and off trains safely. However, they are also responsible for reducing fare evasion, providing customer service to commuters and helping prevent anti-social behaviour on trains.Protective services officers also play a role in supporting safety around train stations. They're at train stations after 6pm until the last train and are now patrolling trains.Metro is trialling new platform markings at Richmond station and a "visual countdown" in the City Loop, alerting commuters to when a train is boarding or about to depart.Public Transport Victoria chief executive Jeroen Weimar said the safety of passengers was "always the No. 1 priority"."There are currently a number of measures being trialled to further improve the way passengers get on and off trains, while authorised officers and station staff work hard every day to ensure passengers get where they need to go and home again safely," he said.The National Rail Safety Regulator and Metro Trains are investigating the Heatherdale incident.Do you think we need humans to ensure safety, or can we rely on automation to do the job? Should we put the burden on drivers to ensure it's safe to depart? Are passengers just plain irresponsible, flouting the rules too much? What do you think can be done to improve safety on Metro trains?Join the conversation in our new Facebook group, What's Got Melbourne Talking.
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