Serious incident: Last night (between Monday and Tuesday), several teenagers attacked a bus driver of the "Superbus" company and injured his hand after he asked them to stop shouting. The injured driver pointed an accusing finger at the police, saying, "There's no point in turning to them, they don't do anything."
The incident began when a group of teenagers aged 13-14 boarded bus route number 13 in Afula and started causing a disturbance on the bus. The driver responded by addressing them several times, but received no response from the youths. Upon reaching the next station, the teenagers threw a sharp object towards the driver, hitting his eye. When the driver opened the partition, he was injured in his hand. He was taken for medical treatment, and the possibility that he may have fractured his hand is being examined.
The Transport Workers Union is furious about the violent incident. According to them: "Enough with the incomprehensible reality of the routine violence towards drivers. The Ministry of Transport pledged to address the issue of violence on buses, but for now, there is no funding and no solutions."
The bus driver: "We are cannon fodder"
N., a bus driver, recounted the attack he experienced: "I've been a driver for over forty years, and only in recent years have I had to deal with cases of violence – this is the second time I've been attacked by passengers. There's no point in reporting to the police anymore, they don't do anything. It's not just the physical harm – it's the humiliation, the mental anguish. I have grandchildren the age of these kids! We, the drivers and supervisors, are stuck here, and no decision-maker cares – we're everyone's punching bag! This will end in murder. The day will come when a youth arrives with a knife."
Itai Cohen, head of the Transportation Branch in the Workers Union, conveyed: "Such a serious case, in which the driver's visibility is impaired, cannot be labeled as the mischief of bored kids. According to the data at our disposal, 90% of these attack cases are closed due to 'lack of public interest' or 'civilian dispute.' The time has come for the Ministry of Transportation to take its commitment to this issue seriously and adopt the recommendations we have presented – security on designated routes for incidents, designating drivers as public service employees, and imposing appropriate penalties for their assailants."
Superbus company responded: "We view the difficult incident with great severity and condemn any case of violence towards our employees and all workers and passengers of public transportation. This is a grave phenomenon that requires immediate and thorough intervention. We fully support and stand by the driver and are working with all relevant parties. We call on the Israeli police to swiftly bring the assailants to justice."
This is not the first case in recent times. At the beginning of the month, a group of teenagers attacked a bus driver from Dan company in Ashkelon. The incident occurred after the bus driver had finished her route. The driver said, "Every summer, the same story. Unsupervised teenagers looking for trouble. They get on the bus drunk and aggressive. I don't know how it would have ended without the partition. Just two and a half months ago, I was driving with my six-year-old daughter next to me, trying to get her used to bus rides."
According to her: "A passenger attacked me after refusing to get off at a stop. It was difficult to escape from this incident. We feel completely abandoned - I went to the police with videos of the incident (attached), but they didn't want to accept it. It doesn't concern them!"