Passengers concerned

February 13, 2018

Numurkah's Doug McKeown has spoken abut a recent public transport incident.

Numurkah’s Doug and Jenny McKeown were left concerned for public safety after catching public transport from Numurkah to Seymour recently.

The pair said they boarded a V/Line bus bound for Seymour on January 12 and were confronted with a loud passenger who behaved inappropriately.

‘‘During the course of the journey, he was punching the seat and swearing loudly and intimidating passengers,’’ Mr McKeown said.

‘‘The bus driver moved the people as far forward as he could and put the guy up the back.’’

Although the McKeowns were not frightened themselves, they said one female passenger was so distressed by the situation she spoke to the bus driver.

‘‘I wasn’t particularly frightened of him because there were lots of passengers on the bus, so we had safety in numbers,’’ Mr McKeown said.

‘‘I did feel it was a potential threat to the public.’’

Mr McKeown said he was unsure what to do to resolve the situation and became increasingly concerned with the passenger distracting the driver.

‘‘The bus driver wasn’t fully concentrating on driving because he was always looking in the rear-vision mirror,’’ Mrs McKeown added.

A V/Line spokesperson said they were concerned to hear about the passengers’ experience.

‘‘We have contacted the coach operator to ask whether the driver was aware of the unruly passenger on-board the service,’’ they said.

‘‘Unruly behaviour will not be tolerated on any V/Line train and coach and passengers should always notify a train conductor or coach driver if they have concerns while travelling on our services.’’

The spokesperson said a passenger could be removed if demonstrating unruly behaviour and this could be done by the driver contacting the police.

A Victoria Police spokesperson said authorities along with officers from the Transit Safety Division worked together to enhance safety for commuters.

‘‘If there is an incident on public transport, the nearest local police unit will attend, whether that be from Transit Safety Division or the closest police station,’’ they said.

‘‘As well as Protective Services Officers, the Transit Safety Division has officers based in different areas of the state who police local train lines, bus and tram routes and transport hubs in uniform and plain clothes at all times of the day and night.’’

Mr McKeown said the situation had fortunately resolved itself by the time they arrived at Seymour to board their train to Melbourne.

‘‘We don’t know where the guy was going from Seymour. Once we got to Seymour, we lost sight of him,’’ he said.

Mr McKeown said he also spoke to State Member for Shepparton Suzanna Sheed about the incident.

‘‘I’ve written a letter to the minister for police, outlining what happened, and I’m waiting to hear back,’’ Ms Sheed said.

The V/Line spokesperson said feedback cases could be lodged on 1800800007.

For immediate police assistance anywhere any time in Victoria, phone 000.

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