The MBTA hopes thousands of new signs and decals posted throughout its trains and busses in will help ebb a spike in assaults against its drivers, MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo said.
The signs and decals, posted in the last week, feature statements like “Violence toward a bus driver is against the law” and “We will prosecute,” all in the hopes that customers will think twice before assaulting a driver. Already, the MBTA has posted five thousand of the warnings inside its vehicles, Pesaturo said.
On station platforms, a recorded message from MBTA General Manager Beverley Scott and Trans Police Chief MacMillan will announce to customers that if they attack a driver, “we will find you, arrest you, and prosecute you.”
In the first four months of 2013, there were 28 reported assaults on T drivers, Pesaturo said, an increase from 24 reported during the same time in 2012.
The postings and recording are all part of a new effort, launched last month and detailed in a letter sent to MBTA employees by General Manager Beverley Scott, that the MBTA “must proactively inform our customers that an assault on a T employee is against the law, and that offenders will be prosecuted,” Scott wrote.
One of the most violent attacks this year involved a group of teenagers flagging down a Route 16 bus and attacking the driver on Columbia Road in Dorchester.
Scott said she was troubled by the “brazen” attacks, adding, “Getting assaulted is not part of any T employee’s job.”Lauren Dezenski can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @LaurenDezenski.