HB 1342 -- Protect Transit Workers from Harassment -- Passes State House on Bi-Partisan Vote
In a solidly bi-partisan vote of approval, SMART-TD's HB 1342 has passed the Illinois House of Representatives and will now go to the Illinois Senate. HB 1342 will codify a transit agencies ability to create policies that would allow for the suspension of riding privileges and/or confiscation of fare media for individuals who violate a "code of conduct".
"Our passenger members have for years documented the escalation of physical and verbal violence and general unruliness that is plaguing transit operations across the country", said Bob Guy, SMART-TD Illinois Legislative Director.
"This increase in unacceptable passenger behavior is well documented in the aviation industry, but the ferocity of such acts has escalated in commuter/passenger train operations as well", Guy said. "But the aviation industry has strong federal regulations to address that behavior, where a state or transit agency doesn't."
HB 1342 is a step in the right direction to combat unacceptable passenger behavior that would help protect our members and employees of transit throughout the state. HB 1342 would allow transit agencies to create reasonable, common sense "code of conduct" policies to address this unacceptable behavior.
No employee, regardless of the industry, should have to be forced to interact with an individual, as part of their official duties, who has spit in their face, threatened their life, placed their hands on them or physically assaulted them or creates a hostile environment for employees and passengers alike. HB 1342 is a reasonable step to start a process to create policies that protect transit riders, employees and the agencies themselves.