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Safety on Public Transport and Tramline Extension Project

Radio News Broadcasts

John Darley, Advance SA (5AA 9.24-9.29) Safety on public transport and criticism of the tramline extension project

(Byner: We received a number of emails across the weekend about violence on our transport last week. This one for example: “I was horrified to hear of the violence on a Seaford train which was nasty enough to bring the line to a standstill. This incident highlighted a serious flaw with security on our public transport services, something that I’ve been mentioning for a long time. The vicious incident happened at half past one in the afternoon not 10 o’clock at night. There is virtually no security around at half past one in the afternoon or any day because the ruling elite seem to believe that felons are only active at night and as you and everybody saw this is not true.” The Leader of Advance SA, John Darley, has called in. Good morning John.) ... I’m interested in this issue of safety on public transport. Now obviously the Government would have a public risk policy – perhaps they insure themselves – but that would cover any issue caused by the transport system. Now it seems to me that any other criminal act that occurs on public transport is not covered at all, according to the Department of Transport, and I think it should be ... I mean we have ... transport officers on trains, buses and trams ... you probably can’t afford to have one on every tram just waiting for something to happen, but my view is and my party’s view is that there should be some protection for people who are attacked criminally on public transport. What we’re doing at the moment is researching what happens around the world because this is not just a South Australian problem it would be a worldwide problem ... if we can find somewhere in the world where they have taken some appropriate action we’ll certainly be suggesting to the Government. On the matter of the tram turning right into North Terrace does that mean that all the money that we’ve wasted that we’ve spent on putting the tramlines down to the east has now been wasted and also with the tram going to the Festival Centre does it mean that tram can only go straight back up King William Street and not turn right into North Terrace or left into North Terrace? (Byner: Well they’re questions that we would have asked the Minister. By the way, we did invite the Minister on this morning but he wasn’t available, just so you know. As a courtesy we always do this. We’re not obliged to do it but we do because we often say, and we’ll stick to it, that we give everybody a chance ... here’s another email: “The driver of the train has to watch the tracks obviously not be glued looking over his or her shoulder to CCTV. Old style guards need to be reintroduced on to our rail system with the utmost urgency. Guards will have the ability with today’s technology to call SAPOL if and when the need arises. In the old days of SA Railways and State Transport Authority the guard ruled the train. The guard was responsible for it and the passengers. The driver’s job was simply to drive the train. The guard could and often did make the decision to make an unscheduled stop to remove people from the train that were causing trouble. The guard could hold that train for as long as he or she saw fit and they were the ones who dictated the terms to train control not the other way around ... on the subject of security guards it’s a token gesture. Their primary function is the safety and welfare of the Passenger Service Assistant not the passengers.” Did you know that? Did you know that? “As previously highlighted in the media with vandalism attacks at Seaford the security guard could be clearly heard telling a member of the public that they’re not allowed to do anything.” This is true. “Security guards are instructed to look after the PSA only. So if a train pulls into Elizabeth station say for example and there’s a bus driver being assaulted the security guard on the train is not permitted to assist the bus driver as the train must keep moving as instructed by train control.” Now I’ve got to tell you this all goes back to the way this department is managed and led by Mr Deegan and he can sit there in his bunker and say nothing and put up people who hardly know anything and make them look even more stupid but ultimately somebody will have to pay the piper.)