New Minn. law ups penalties for assault on bus drivers, other public transit operators

  • Updated: July 31, 2013 - 4:05 AM

ST. PAUL, Minn. — A new Minnesota law will heighten criminal penalties for assaulting bus or light rail drivers.

The new law takes effect Thursday. It adds public transit operators to a list of occupations and individuals protected under the state's fourth-degree assault statute.

That means anyone who assaults a transit driver or throws bodily fluids on them while they are operating their vehicle is subject to a gross misdemeanor.

Supporters of the law changes told legislators lasts spring that too many bus drivers are subject to harassment that can include being spit on or even assaulted. Concern was also expressed that drivers assaulted while on the job is a safety risk for transit riders as well.

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