By John Ostapkovich

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Yesterday afternoon’s attack on a SEPTA police officer, which roused passengers to his defense (see related story), provides an example of what transit officials hope riders will do whenever trouble erupts on its trains, buses, trolleys, or subways.

SEPTA tries to enlist the public’s help with ongoing safety campaigns, safety blitzes at transit hubs, and the new “Look Up, Speak Up” ads.

Transit agency spokeswoman Jerri Williams says riders, this time, seemed to get the message.

“We have had many situations where passengers just stood by and watched and, even worse, took video,” she notes.  “And in this particular incident we do have a number of people who did take videos and have posted those, but at least we also had those great passengers who came forward.”

Williams says the recent case of the unconscious mother on a bus, whose sad story went to viral video faster than a call for help was made (see related story), may have sparked a backlash to do the right thing.

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