Drivers Under Siege - NBC Bay Area
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Drivers Under Siege

Drivers Under Siege

They’re vital to the community and scared for their lives. The Investigative Unit reviewed 200+ bus surveillance videos and uncovered a spike in the number of assaults against AC Transit drivers, despite district claims that assaults are on the decline. Video shows drivers punched, choked, and threatened at gunpoint, all in the line of duty. Drivers say when they’re not safe, no one is safe.

‘I Was Concerned for My Life’

AC Transit Driver Stephen Williams reveals the threat prompting him to bring a gun to work. Full Story

AC Transit Driver: 'I Was Concerned for My Life'AC Transit Driver: 'I Was Concerned for My Life'

Stephen Williams, an AC Transit bus driver who just marked his 10 year anniversary, said the rise in attacks on drivers and slow response times in emergencies prompted him to bring a gun to his job. He reveals the specific threats that pushed him over the edge in an interview with senior investigative reporter Vicky Nguyen in a story that first aired July 16, 2018.

(Published Monday, July 16, 2018)

Bipartisan Bill

A bipartisan bill seeks to improve bus driver safety nationwide by requiring protective shields, improved training, and data reporting of assaults to the Department of Transportation. Full Story

CA Lawmaker Introduces Federal Bill To Protect Bus DriversCA Lawmaker Introduces Federal Bill To Protect Bus Drivers

Following recent NBC Bay Area investigations about a spike in the number of reported assaults on bus drivers, a bipartisan bill seeks to improve bus driver safety nationwide by requiring protective shields, improved training, and data reporting of assault incidents to the Department of Transportation. Senior investigative reporter Vicky Nguyen reports in a story that first aired June 6, 2018.

(Published Wednesday, June 6, 2018)

Driver's Gun

Alameda County Sheriffs arrest an AC Transit operator for bringing a gun to work. The driver said he needed the gun for protection from violent passengers. Full Story

AC Transit Driver Arrested for Having Loaded Gun: SheriffAC Transit Driver Arrested for Having Loaded Gun: Sheriff

An AC Transit bus driver was arrested for allegedly being in possession of a loaded gun while on the job, Alameda County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Ray Kelly said. Jodi Hernandez and Vicky Nguyen report.

(Published Wednesday, May 9, 2018)

Delayed Response

Drivers fear that the delayed response from law enforcement puts public safety at risk during assaults. Full Story

Bus Drivers Concerned Over Delayed Emergency ResponseBus Drivers Concerned Over Delayed Emergency Response

AC Transit bus operators are calling for changes to an emergency call system they believe wastes valuable minutes, putting everyone’s safety at risk. As reported assaults increase, operators want a direct line to law enforcement in the event of an emergency. Senior Investigative Reporter Vicky Nguyen reports in a story that aired April 27, 2018

(Published Friday, April 27, 2018)

Call to Action

Bus drivers with AC Transit are calling for major safety reforms to address the growing problem of assaults against drivers. Full Story

Video Shows Attacks on AC Transit Drivers SpikingVideo Shows Attacks on AC Transit Drivers Spiking

AC Transit security briefings presented to the public cite a decline in assaults on drivers, but the NBC Bay Area Investigative Unit reviewed hours of surveillance videos from AC Transit and found a sharp increase in reports of assaults on drivers, sometimes putting riders in the middle of dangerous incidents. Senior investigative reporter Vicky Nguyen reports in a story that first aired February 23, 2018.

(Published Friday, Feb. 23, 2018)

Interactive Map: Assault Videos