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Nj Transit is Developing a “No Ride” List for Aggressive Riders Who Assault Employees.

Beyond the higher fines that were put into law about a year ago, NJ Transit personnel who have been assaulted by a passenger are almost certain to receive further protection. Those who assault transit workers risk losing their access to the system for at least a year.

The organization began a procedure on Tuesday to implement rules banning rowdy passengers from using the public transportation system, including a lifetime ban for offenders who employ a lethal weapon. It’s a piece of legislation that Governor Phil Murphy signed into law over a year ago and which increases the punishment for attacking transit workers.

Beyond the severe fines and penalties the Federal Aviation Administration enacted in the wake of assaults on flight crews, the policy would be comparable to a national “no-fly list” regulation that airlines are seeking to impose to prohibit aggressive passengers.

The unanimous vote initiates a 60-day public comment period on the procedure for a policy that enables the organization to bar the worst offenders who assault a transport worker with a deadly weapon and to impose a one-year ban on passengers who assault transit staff.

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The regulation codifies a clause in the Motorbus and Passenger Rail Service Employee Violence Protection Act (VPA), which Gov. Phil Murphy signed in January 2022 and permits NJ Transit to administratively revoke rider privileges.

Assaulting a public or private transportation employee who is “targeted because of their job” is now classified as a third-degree aggravated assault offense, punishable by 3 to 5 years in prison and a maximum punishment of $15,000.

Up until recently, it was a fourth-degree offense punishable by up to $10,000 in fines and 18 months in jail.

James D. Adams, a board member, remarked, “I’m very delighted and overjoyed we moved this, our operators are the cornerstone of NJ Transit.” It is unacceptable to beat, spit on, or yell at them. It’s a significant step.

For a 60-day comment period, the policy will be published in the New Jersey Register. Before submitting the final rules for adoption to the NJ Transit Board of Directors next year, the draught regulations will be updated to reflect the public’s views.

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According to Kevin Corbett, CEO of NJ Transportation, the company may be among the first transit systems in the nation to adopt a policy. Inquiries on whether other organizations have comparable bans were not immediately answered by an American Public Transit Association spokesman.

The unions representing NJ Transit workers have waged an ongoing fight to get protections and for courts to treat employee attacks more seriously. Unions for bus and train drivers claim that when they had to enforce government regulations requiring passengers to wear masks during the COVID-19 outbreak, their members suffered more harassment.

“My siblings have taken a great deal. The tales I’ve heard are abhorrent. Board Member Karen Thomas, a representative of the Amalgamated Transit Union’s New Jersey State Council, expressed her happiness that we were taking action to safeguard them. “I’m glad we arrived here and can now safeguard our brothers and sisters.”

A pregnant NJ Transit bus driver who was attacked and robbed in January 2019 by an ex-convict with 13 felony convictions was one of the more serious assault instances.

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According to the ATU, NJ Transit reported 52 assaults against rail employees and 82 assaults against bus drivers between January and September 2021. A 21-year-old woman attacked and spat in the face of an NJ Transit bus driver in January 2021.

A conductor on an NJ Transit train was threatened with a knife in October 2021 after the conductor urged the passenger to put on a mask.

Other measures taken to safeguard employees include installing safety barriers to shield bus drivers and providing them with an advocate to assist them in navigating the legal system in the event of an assault and cooperating with the court to obtain the harshest punishment permitted by law, according to Corbett.

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