11 May 2010

Punched driver asked to drive bus after attack

3:11 pm on 11 May 2010

A bus driver punched more than 20 times during a robbery in south Auckland says the bus controller asked him if he could still drive the bus.

Sudeep Singh, 57, needed hospital treatment for concussion and bruising after the attack by three men on Friday night. He says his turban saved his life.

NZ Bus has conceded it did not follow procedures and says it is providing refresher training, as well as addressing safety concerns.

The company apologised to Mr Singh on Monday about how it handled the aftermath of the incident.

The Tramways Union says security screens would have prevented the attack.

President Gary Froggatt says it is the third assault on drivers in south Auckland this year. In the past fortnight, youths have smashed windscreens with rocks in three incidents.

Mr Singh says he has no option except to go back to his job, although he is worried about what would happen to his family if he died at work.