Union backs bus driver after threat to kill teen
TRANSPORT Workers' Union are backing a bus driver ahead of an investigation after he was stood down for threatening to kill a teenage passenger for fare-evading.
Queensland Branch Secretary of the Transport Workers' Union, Peter Biagini said passengers had a duty to pay their fare and he hoped a thorough investigation would shed more light after the video of the driver swearing and threatening the 16-year-old passenger circulated online.
The Sunbus Sunshine Coast driver was stood down on Friday after the incident.
It is believed the teenager and his friend boarded the bus from Coolum bus stop without money, but the driver let them ride anyway.
His patience grew thing when a drink can rolled down the aisle.
The teenage boy told 7 News Sunshine Coast the driver thought it was his and "started screaming and stormed to the back of the bus".
The driver was filmed yelling "mate if I grab you I'll break your f**king neck" and "I might go to jail but you'll be f**king dead".
He then grabbed the boy by the arm and pulled him from his seat and towards the exit. Both boys exited the bus and walked home.
The teenage boy said he "didn't want to be left at the bus stop" and "didn't think it was right to do that to a 16-year-old".
Sunbus Sunshine Coast general manager Neil de Silva agreed saying the behaviour was unacceptable and the driver was under investigation.
"The behaviour demonstrated by the driver does not in any way reflect our company values," he said.
"He's been stood down immediately, pending a full investigation."
Mr Biagini said bus drivers copped abuse in the "taxing job" and some people took advantage of them.
In the state-wide Get on Board campaign for Queensland bus drivers, it was found 96.5 per cent of driver had been abused- 64.4 per cent reported they were abused regularly.
The Get On Board campaign collected more than 13,000 signatures.
More than 50 per cent of drivers said more needed to be done to ensure safety when dealing with repeat offenders.
"Passengers have a duty to pay for their bus fare but we unfortunately know that some people take advantage of a driver's good will and continually refuse to pay," Mr Biagini said.
"Drivers provide an incredibly important service, and care deeply about the comfort about all of their passengers.
"We will continue to fight for and represent the rights of bus drivers across Queensland, who perform such a valuable job providing transport for our family and friends."