Zadar Civil Protection Patrolling Buses as Teenagers Do Not Follow Measures

Daniela Rogulj



September 15, 2020 – How to implement epidemiological measures against coronavirus on city and suburban bus lines? This not at all easy task was given to members of the Zadar Civil Protection Headquarters, who for the last two weeks have been trying to bring order among many teenagers riding buses in the morning hours from suburban and other settlements.

Slobodna Dalmacija reports that most do not respect anti-epidemic measures, do not wear masks, and do not maintain distance. As many pensioners ride on the same lines, the morning crowds in buses have become hotspots for spreading the virus.

Last Monday, the Zadar Civil Protection Headquarters received countless calls from worried parents and citizens warning of large crowds on Liburnija lines and the rude behavior of some teenagers who, they say, intimidate passengers on the bus by threatening to “lick their faces to give them the coronavirus.”

“Early last week, we received several reports that the situation on the buses was inappropriate and that there was a big crowd when the children were leaving and returning from school. We also received reports that the teenagers were trying to prove themselves, thus intimidating their classmates. I have to admit that bringing order to public transport has been a bit challenging.

I would dare say that this is even one of the biggest problems we had,” explains Mato Lukic, head of the Zadar Civil Protection Headquarters, adding that the problem of congestion in buses arises because of students who cram into one bus.

“A driver cannot leave without children, nor do they have the authority to act as a police officer on a bus to disperse children or let someone into a vehicle. We also had problems because they didn’t wear masks. They would put them on when they passed the driver, and then when they moved to the back of the bus, they would take them off,” says Lukic, noting that pensioners will not give up early morning departures to the city, so they push themselves into the bus together with high school students.

To bring order to the city buses, the Zadar Civil Protection has introduced six patrols, i.e., 12 members of the Civil Protection Headquarters who regulate the crowds in public buses.

“Immediately on the second day after the citizens reported crowds, we sent three patrols to check the buses and jump in to help the drivers. However, the initial three controls were not enough, so we sent three more on Wednesday, so now, when high school students depart for school and on their return home, the Civil Protection is on duty on the buses. Due to the introduction of Civil Protection members inside the bus, we started receiving positive reactions from citizens at the end of the week,” Lukic pointed out, adding that Civil Protection members have been working in three shifts for two hundred days and controlling the implementation of decisions of the National Civil Protection Headquarters.

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