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Detroit bus drivers seek to redesign buses for protection

Posted at 3:31 PM, Sep 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-07 16:15:27-04

Detroit bus drivers want buses to be redesigned to protect drivers from violent attacks and terrorism.

Bus drivers from the Detroit Department of Transportation say the way public buses are designed is not only putting them and their passengers at risk, but also every single person out on the road. 

They don't have an issue with DDOT specifically; they are fighting for change for bus drivers around the nation who, for example, have been attacked while behind the wheel. 

DDOT bus drivers say that as they work, they are on edge.

Most of the time, they say the issues stem from mentally ill or intoxicated passengers. 

Some passengers attack, spit on or punch the drivers. Others hijack the bus. Either way, they are able to get off the bus and get away.

However, they fear they are a soft target for something bigger, after seeing headlines in other countries where buses are being used for terrorism.

Their union's national leaders are in Washington D.C. calling on lawmakers to pressure bus manufacturers. 

They want to see shields build in buses to protect them from passengers, as well as improvements that would eliminate blind spots, improve air quality on buses and make seats that address the fact back injuries are common for drivers. 

The head of DDOT says he wants to make sure the designs allow bus drivers to interact with customers, but he, too, is calling for safety to be improved by manufacturers.