Bus driver wins award for helping elderly passenger who fell after alighting, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Bus driver wins award for helping elderly passenger who fell after alighting

This article is more than 12 months old

SBS Transit bus driver Tan Wei Fu was pulling out of a bus stop on Holland Drive on Jan 15 this year when he heard a sound that made him stop.

An elderly passenger, who alighted from the front door of the Service 48 bus, had fallen backwards after she stepped onto the kerb.

Witnesses saw her hit the bus as she fell, and somehow, her hair ended up caught in the front left wheel of the bus.

Mr Tan, 26, immediately stepped out of the bus.

With a pair of scissors he borrowed from people at a nearby community centre, he freed the passenger.

She had suffered minor abrasions on her head and arm.

Mr Tan was on Friday (Aug 19) among 82 transport workers and six transport operators to receive awards at the Public Transport Safety and Security Awards Day event.

Some of the recipients were lauded for their bravery and swift thinking, while others received awards for creating a safer and more secure workplace with innovative solutions, as well as for stellar safety records.

Mr Tan said in Mandarin that it was fortunate he had spotted the passenger, and added that the award motivates him to do better.

"I want to improve and be even more alert and patient when seniors board the bus," said Mr Tan, who has been with SBS Transit for five years.

In his speech at the event at the NTUC Centre, Senior Minister of State for Transport and Finance Chee Hong Tat, who was the guest of honour, said safety should never be compromised.

To reinforce the message, Mr Chee said bus captains will have to undergo a one-day course, which includes simulator training and defensive driving, as part of the Singapore Bus Academy's refresher training programme.

They will attend the course, which will be launched later this month, over the next three years.

Mr Chee also separately spoke about safety at the workplace.

He noted that the number of workplace injuries for rail operations had dropped from 21 to 15, but it had increased from 54 to 58 for bus operations, between January and June this year, compared with the same period of 2021.

On Friday, awards were also given to chief bus captain Peter Kwek, 49, who mentors younger colleagues, and SMRT Buses senior supervisor Low Lee Chua, 61.

The pair dealt with an electrical fire at Ang Mo Kio Bus Depot on Jan 6.

While Mr Kwek calmly put out the fire with a fire extinguisher, Mr Low helped the staff to evacuate.

"There was nothing to panic about. The more you panic, the worse it gets," Mr Kwek said.

Senior bus captain Ong Shi Chuin received an award for stopping a young girl, who was trying to run across the five-lane Marina Boulevard on Jan 16.

He picked up the girl, who looked about four years old, and waited in the bus with her for her parents.

"I had to do it because a life was at stake. Even if it's a pet on the road, I wouldhelp too," said Mr Ong, 56.