After three serious incidents involving buses, pedestrians and cyclists this month, Mr Aslan said a major education campaign was needed to inform people about the difficulties drivers faced.
‘They’re basically driving buses that weigh 12 to 14 tonnes and manoeuvring them in very difficult circumstances, especially with all the traffic congestion in Perth these days,’ Mr Aslan said.
‘They have cars ducking into them at lights, people walking around with earphones, texting ” people just don’t take enough care.’
He said plans to put bikes in bus lanes, such as Barrack Street in the city, was a recipe for disaster.
‘(Bus drivers are) doing a very difficult job; in fact they’re doing a marvellous job because there are very few incidents involving bikes and it’s absolutely a miracle there are not more,’ he said.
Public Transport Authority spokesman David Hynes said Transperth bus drivers had to complete high levels of training as well as participate in regular refresher training and bus companies offered counselling to any driver involved in accidents.
‘The drivers are also asked if they wish to continue their shift or whether they want time off, however in most accidents the driver will not continue his or her shift anyway because (they) will be involved, during the immediate aftermath, in the investigation including drug and alcohol testing,’ he said.
Bicycle Transport Alliance chief executive Heinrich Benz said the recent death of a cyclist in Mt Lawley highlighted the critical need for governments to invest in infrastructure to protect all road users.
‘The tragedy underscores how decades of planning and policy decisions have failed to give any genuine transport choice to Perth’s residents and created a deadly environment for those who do decide to travel by bike,’ he said.
– Police are still appealing for witnesses to an incident on May 6 where a 37-year-old woman was hit by a Transperth bus on William Street in Perth. Call 1300 888 000 with any information.