Noosa bus driver assault sparks call for more safety
A 17-year-old girl allegedly assaulted a Sunbus driver and two other adults at the Noosa Junction transit centre bus stop.
A petition has now been launched calling on the Transport Department to provide greater protection for bus drivers following the incident.
Mobile phone footage allegedly shows the girl punching a man before striking the bus driver, believed to be a woman, and lashing out at a female bystander sitting at the stop.
The video also shows the alleged fight ignited following an argument between the teen and a woman.
Police were called to the bus stop about 3.45pm but the alleged attacker had already fled the scene.
Noosa Heads police Senior Constable Michael Phelan said police were still looking for the teen.
He alleged one of the victims was known to the suspect and the other victims were "allegedly turned on for no apparent reason".
He said police call-outs to the transit centre had increased and police were looking at addressing the behavioural problems.
A change.org petition, launched by Lisa Page, had already been signed by 80 people by midday on Thursday.
Ms Page, who knows one of the alleged victims and has seen the video footage, told the Sunshine Coast Daily said she started the petition because the assault on bus drivers was increasing and it was time for harsher penalties for those convicted of these assaults.
"TransLink needs to step up and protect them," she said.
"Not only that there needs to be community awareness to the fact that it's happening.
"Something needs to be done, conversations needs to be had, it's not okay."
Sunbus has confirmed the alleged assault involved one of its drivers and the company was helping police with their investigation.
A TransLink spokesman said the Queensland government was serious about providing a safe work environment for frontline transport workers and customers.
"TransLink has a zero-tolerance policy around violence towards drivers and passengers," the spokesman said.
"These types of incidents are extremely rare and public transport remains safe, with the vast majority of the 104 million trips taken on the Queensland urban bus network during the 2019-20 financial year occurring without incident.
"TransLink has more than 12,000 CCTV cameras across its network - including cameras on all Sunbus buses - to deter potential offenders."
The spokesman said all new Sunbus vehicles were also fitted with safety screen and an independent assessment of future driver barrier options is underway.
"TransLink currently has a pool of 60 senior network officers (SNOs), the most on our network since 2016, to patrol across southeast Queensland," he said.
"Queensland police and SNOs have conducted a number of joint operations across the Sunshine Coast," the spokesman said.