Why conflict resolution training is important for transport workers
Instead of receiving a heartwarming “thank-you” from passengers after a long quiet ride, transport workers (bus and taxi drivers especially) are often greeted with several forms of physical and verbal abuse. It is predicted 96% of drivers have been either assaulted physically or verbally, spat on, or threatened by passengers. A hard, sad truth for the transport industry.
Mr Crutchfield, a bus driver of 23 years, claims to have witnessed over the last 10 years a malignant change in the way drivers are treated.
“People running late for appointments,” said Mr Crutchfield, “people who have missed the bus, and they keep taking their frustrations out on me — the driver… …They just don’t give a sh*t about the driver and they don’t give a sh*t about the other people in the bus.”
Imagine being abused and assaulted everyday by whoever comes your way. This may induce a long-lasting mental health disorder in the individual as well as a traumatizing effect on the individual’s self-worth, and such is what bus drivers go through everyday. This feeling of intimidation and lowered self-esteem will in turn affect the driver’s relationship with his own family, thereby destabilizing the family’s societal structure in the long run.
Bus drivers face varying degrees of threat daily and are becoming more vulnerable to attack than ever before.
Mr Simmonds, a Gold Coast lawyer, annotated to this point. He said:
“It’s a very sad indictment on our society… …Our bus and taxi drivers are vulnerable and an attack could come at any time.”
Mr Simmonds has therefore called for safety measures to be taken by transport companies to fit safety cages behind the driver seat of the buses. This barriers will protect the drivers from the incessant physical abuse, spitting and throwing of objects by the aggressive and abusive passengers. But even this is not enough to curtail the issue.
It is critical conflict resolution training should also be given to transport workers — bus and taxi drivers to be precise — on resolving these conflicts they encounter with their passengers daily.
There’s bound to be an occurrence of aggression from passengers and hence, the importance of conflict resolution training for transport workers can never be overemphasized. These drivers should be educated on the causes of passengers’ aggression, as well as the remedies and resolution to protect them from the adverse traumatizing effect that comes with assault.
Conflict resolution training for transport workers should be organized to enlighten them on these causative factors and how to avoid them. They should be trained on how to behave correctly when traveling, recording of mileage so as to prevent dispute when it comes to payment of taxi fares, and speaking politely to passengers. This training will improve the overall driver-passenger relationship, thereby reducing the chances of passengers going all berserk.
Are you a transport worker in dire need of help? Kindly click on the link to take a training course today and be prepared with the necessary skills to avoid and defuse a conflict situation at your workplace.