Sen. Tartaglione bill aims at detering attacks on transit employees

Philadelphia state Sen. Christine Tartaglione is again introducing legislation to stiffen the penalties for assaults on public transit employees.

For the third straight session, Tartaglione, a Democrat, has introduced a bill aimed at deterring crimes against bus and train operators and other transit workers Under the bill (SB 387) anyone who assaults a transportation employee could be charged with a first-degree felony and sentenced to up to 20 years in jail.

"Transit officials from across Pennsylvania have collected hundreds of injury reports resulting from assaults," Tartaglione said. "It's time we send a message to harried commuters that they cannot take their frustration out on innocent workers."

Last year SEPTA reported a number of incidents involving attacks on its employees including a bullet fired through a bus driver's window and a driver assaulted by a knife-wielding passenger. In all there were ten incidents where employees were unable to work because of injuries from an assault.

In 2007, after a SEPTA driver was injured by a bullet that shattered his side window, Tartaglione's bill passed the  Senate, but the bill was never voted on in the House.

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