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ACTION "harassment"

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Offline KimB10M

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ACTION "harassment"
« on: October 17, 2012, 07:30:11 PM »
"Funny" thing happened to me today. I was standing at the bus station in CBD (Alinga Street) video recording - like I have done a number of times before. A driver starts from the bus stop, then stops in front of me while I was video filming, open the doors and said that he "do not appreciate that I take pictures of him - thank you very much". Now since I never reply to stupid comments (most times it's best to say nothing at all, since the few times it happens - drivers usually move on) he then tells me that he will call the police and calls the depot though the bus radio system.

After a minute or so, he then drives on.. Two minutes later arrives two ACTION men, one of them tells me that he is the manager of the bus station - and he does wear a jacket that says "Operations Manager".  He tells me that he have received "some calls" (in fact it was one call) from drivers, that I am taking pictures of them. I tell him that I am taking pictures and filming the buses since buses is my hobby, and I do not film the drivers, but of course they are sitting behind the windscreen . He is then clearly very confused - and then I ask him if that is such an odd thing to him, his reply is; yes that is an odd thing.

So then he ask me how long time I am going to stay there, and I tell him - until I am finish recording.. But he needs to know exactly how long time, and I reply -- until I am finished. He then also threatens me with the police and that he must clarify it with the AFP.. I tell him, OK - you do that.

Now such an incident has of course happened before to me, but there are long between them - and I am surprised that it happens to me here in Canberra, so far nine months with out any "altercations" with drivers (anywhere in AUS) - in fact most of them comes out and say hello. Well except for this one..

What disappoints me is that the "operations manager" knows nothing about bus fans, and also nothing about the right to film/shoot photos in public places, and he is not interested at all listening to why I am filming the buses, and why it is not the drivers that is the centre of my attention.. It is clear that he does not believe me and only believes the melodramatic driver (who was telling a lie - or maybe it's just the way he sees it), and that I am a problem that needs to be addressed right away.

Of course I got most of my conversation on tape with the ACTION Manager, so there is no doubt of what was said. I have tried this before, and I will not be bullied - and I stand up for my rights.. We then had some "ping pong" going on, I filmed him for a couple of seconds, he took pictures of me.. At no time he seem to understand, and he became clearly frustrated that the Police did not arrive.. Every time I tried to talk to him, he ran away - and told me to stop follow him, I told him that I just wanted to know what the Police said, and then I would like to have his name or his employee number so I could take this whole incident up with ACTION headquarters.

He told me that he had just talked with HQ, and I would still have to leave, because now according to HQ, I was a danger to the traffic, I was taking the attention away from the drivers, and then accidents could happen.. I tried to tell him that besides the one driver, no other drivers seem to be taken offence by my cameras.. But no luck!

Finally I decided to go and stand on Northbound and Alinga St.. Funny enough, I was then being followed and watched by the "OM" colleague" and by the "OM" from a further distance.. The OM did not approve that I was "following" him to get some answers, but it was perfectly fine for him and his colleague to follow me. :)

Very disappointing experience, I didn't even get to tell the OM that I have been Operations Manager myself, and I would always listen to both sides of the story before I judge anyone, but he was all behind his driver.

I will continue to film and shoot pictures of ACTION buses, despite that ACTION and that Operations manager tells me that I cannot. Been doing so since I was 11 years old and in 35 countries. Got over 200 bus videos on my YouTube, and later today there will be a couple more.   :D

« Last Edit: October 17, 2012, 08:11:02 PM by Buzz Killington »

Offline Bidgee

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Re: ACTION "harassment"
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2012, 08:37:57 PM »
Sounds like the OM that told me off at Woden Interchange about two years ago. I've had worse with the New South Wales Police a few years ago but nothing since. Sad to think a few think photography is a crime! 

Offline Maxious

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Re: ACTION "harassment"
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2012, 10:30:52 PM »
I thought yesterday there was a guy from a local TV station getting b-roll for election coverage on transport... right on platform 3 during evening peak. He didn't seem to get harassed by the OM, maybe you just need to look really professional ;)

Offline Barry Drive

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Re: ACTION "harassment"
« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2012, 11:19:40 AM »
Kim, I assume you were, at all times, on the footpath and never strayed onto the roadway (therefore not blocking any bus movements).

I would suggest (if you haven't already done so) notifying ACTION of your incident via this online contact form: http://bit.ly/ACTIONContactUs All complaints sent through this method must be investigated and a reply will be sent.

Was the person you were referring to as the Operations Manager wearing a white shirt or a green shirt?

Offline Busnerd

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Re: ACTION "harassment"
« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2012, 10:30:18 PM »
Had that happen plenty of times before, in most cases I have just said, I'm taking a few photos of the buses, they usually make up something generally going with 'you aren't allowed to do that' replied generally with 'well i am actually/there is no law against that in this country/whateva ya reckon' generally they just ask you to move on, and for the sake of avoiding an arguement i just say ok and then go and sit down until they walk inside.

There is no law against it, if a driver doesn't like having their photo taken - the bus DOES Have blinds that can be pulled down. I have had buses i've driven photographed, i just look the other way or pull the blind down, I don't have a problem with people taking pictures, i just don't wish to have my face in them. If the police ever DO turn up the only thing they can do is give you a move on order, there is no law you are breaking just remember that.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2012, 11:44:45 AM by Buzz Killington »

Offline KimB10M

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Re: ACTION "harassment"
« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2012, 12:45:18 PM »
Kim, I assume you were, at all times, on the footpath and never strayed onto the roadway (therefore not blocking any bus movements).

I would suggest (if you haven't already done so) notifying ACTION of your incident via this online contact form: http://bit.ly/ACTIONContactUs All complaints sent through this method must be investigated and a reply will be sent.

Was the person you were referring to as the Operations Manager wearing a white shirt or a green shirt?

Yes, of course I was standing on the footpath.. I have done this since I was a teenager and have a great sense of logic.

He had a white shirt on and a reflex jacket that said "Operations Manager" and introduced himself as the manager of the city interchange

I am just surprised to find this kind of behaviour in Australia's capital, I didn't expect it, and I will not accept it either.. Maybe I will complain about the incident - but I have already learned how stiff and bureaucratic ACTION is, and I think there are so many thick-headed people working there in the organisation that it could be a waste of time.   :-\
« Last Edit: October 20, 2012, 11:56:17 AM by Buzz Killington »

Offline KimB10M

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Re: ACTION "harassment"
« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2012, 01:26:56 PM »
Had that happen plenty of times before, in most cases I have just said, I'm taking a few photos of the buses, they usually make up something generally going with 'you aren't allowed to do that' replied generally with 'well i am actually/there is no law against that in this country/whateva ya reckon' generally they just ask you to move on, and for the sake of avoiding an arguement i just say ok and then go and sit down until they walk inside.

There is no law against it, if a driver doesn't like having their photo taken - the bus DOES Have blinds that can be pulled down. I have had buses i've driven photographed, i just look the other way or pull the blind down, I don't have a problem with people taking pictures, i just don't wish to have my face in them. If the police ever DO turn up the only thing they can do is give you a move on order, there is no law you are breaking just remember that.

You are right Busneard. And most drivers doesn't even realize that the reflection in the windscreen makes it very hard to see the driver in the bus.

99% of the ACTION drivers does not react to the camera, that's the fact - It's the "Interchange guy" I have a problem with, calling the AFP, calling the HQ, making up dangerous situations in order for me to leave, then follows me around down to Northbound - when I choose to leave his interchange - after I had enough recordings from there.

If ACTION don't know about busfans taking pictures, writing about it in this forum, maybe they should be introduced to actbus.net, maybe next time they will think.. Oh it's probably just a busneard, there are harmless.  :D

     
« Last Edit: October 20, 2012, 11:44:21 AM by Buzz Killington »

Offline Barry Drive

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Re: ACTION "harassment"
« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2012, 01:49:55 PM »
Yes, of course I was standing on the footpath.. I have done this since I was a teenager and have a great sense of logic.
I never thought otherwise - but that would be the only legitimate reason why they could hassle you (other than standing too close to the kerb where you could be in danger of getting hit by a passing bus mirror!).

Offline Barry Drive

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Re: ACTION "harassment"
« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2012, 01:51:44 PM »
ACT Bus will be requesting ACTION to supply their official policy regarding photography of buses.

In the meantime, this thread will be locked.

Offline Buzz Killington

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Re: ACTION "harassment"
« Reply #9 on: November 19, 2012, 06:21:43 PM »
We've now received this policy. It can be viewed at the following thread: http://www.actbus.net/forum/index.php?topic=3646.new#new