Here is another account of misbehaviour by Myki Authorised Officers, sent to me yesterday. The Transport Minister, Jacinta Allan, says the culture will change: it needs to change really soon. Calling it misbehaviour understates its significance: if the account is accurate, the Authorised Officers clearly do not understand the law about allowing the passenger a reasonable time to produce his ID, and one of them committed a criminal assault on the passenger’s wife.
The person who contacted me has given me permission to quote her account of what happened. I have edited the email so as not to reveal the identity of the people involved:
My husband left his wallet at home when he took the car to be serviced near his work. He took a tram home to pick up our daughter from childcare before 6pm, as the car was being serviced, and completely forgot to get a ticket. He was approached by Authorised Officers, who told him he must provide ID and that he could pay an on-the-spot fine or a higher fine at a later time. He said he didn’t have his wallet and then told them to wait while he called me.
He spoke to me at 5.40pm for 4 minutes. He said that he was near childcare but was stuck as he didn’t have a tram ticket or ID. He said that he couldn’t pick up our daughter before 6pm.
I said that I could walk there, picking up our daughter on the way before child care closed at 6pm, and would bring his wallet to him. While we were making this plan I could hear someone yelling at him in the background. He stopped the discussion with me a number of times and repeatedly asked them to please wait for a moment while he organised for his child to be picked up and for his wallet for ID and payment method. They refused to stop and were talking over him.
During the phone call with me he asked the Authorised Officers how long he was allowed by law to provide the ID and payment, as I was coming straight away. We live 4 blocks away from where he was. The officers said that it had to be a reasonable time, and he was not being reasonable.
Our phone conversation ended at 5.44pm. My husband asked the Authorised Officers to wait while I brought his wallet, but they ignored him and began to write a report. And they called the police. My husband explained that I was picking up the child on the way, as her childcare closed at 6pm. The female Yarra Trams officer said that it was an inconvenience.
By the time I arrived at 6pm the police had arrived and the Authorised Officers were speaking with the police officers. I approached the police officer and said that I had brought his walled ID and payment method. The police officer drove away.
My husband said that he now had his wallet, so he had ID and payment method. He said he was happy to pay the on-the-spot fine. The Auyhorised Officers said it was too late as they had completed paperwork.
My husband and I were both recording the Authorised Officers, but they told us to stop recording the discussion. I was then physically pushed repeatedly by one of the Authorised Officers.