King hit to Hervey Bay taxi driver cause for concern

Hervey Bay Taxis general manager Gordon West has pleaded with the public to look after their taxi drivers.
Hervey Bay Taxis general manager Gordon West has pleaded with the public to look after their taxi drivers. Alistair Brightman

HERVEY Bay Taxis general manager Gordon West wants toreduce the amount of alcohol served in clubs to stop the "vicious violence" after a spate of recent attacks on taxi drivers.

Early on Saturday morning an employee, Peter Olson, was assaulted while having a smoke on duty.

Mr Olson was punched in the face near the Viper Nite Club by a drunken man.

It is the third attack on a taxi driver in about nine months.

Despite that, Mr West insists this wasn't a directed assault on a driver.

"This is nothing to do with the job," he said.

"It's an attack on a person that was on the footpath who just happened to be a cab driver."

The man knocked four of Mr Olson's teeth out and left him with a broken nose.

Hervey Bay Police CIB had not made an arrest at the time of publishing.

Mr West has pleaded with the public to look after their taxi drivers.

"He's the only one who's going to get you home." Mr West said new laws meant his drivers couldn't smoke near their cabs.

"The drivers are doing the right thing ... walking across the road or up the street."

Although Mr West doesn't agree the attack wouldn't have happened if the driver was near his cab, he admits the situation might have been different.

"If someone attacked him there, there's cameras right beside the car that would've seen it all," he said.

On Tuesday, Mr Olson spent the day attending medical appointments. He is currently off work.

Mr West believes today's attitude toward drinking causes many problems.

"(Years ago) you never had this vicious violence you have today. These people walk up and (king) hit them."

Police believe several people witnessed the assault and want anyone with information to contact Hervey Bay CIB on 4128 5366.

Topics:  assault hervey bay hervey bay police taxi driver

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