Blitz on tourist buses finds room for improvement

22 February 2016

Bus Safety Victoria (BSV) recently led an inspection of 156 buses at the 12 Apostles and the Phillip Island Penguin Parade which turned up a number of serious offences.

Stephen Turner, Director Bus Safety, explained that the blitzes, which took place over the busy Luna New Year period, found five unregistered vehicles, five buses which were unroadworthy in some way, three unaccredited and three unregistered operators plus 17 potentially infringeable offences.

"These blitzes are organized to ensure Victoria's major tourist attractions are serviced by safe buses.

"Approximately 80 per cent of international tourists take at least one bus trip while visiting Victoria and many agencies work together to make sure their travel is safe," Mr Turner said.

Safe bus services are an significant factor underpinning tourism and it is important to Victoria's economy that visitors have a positive experience.

Everyone involved in the provision of bus transport shares the responsibility for its safety record and continued public confidence in the system.

"BSV regularly conducts compliance operations to check that buses, including those used to transport tourists, around Victoria are safe and operators should expect to see us out and about somewhere sometime.

"We often work in tandem with other agencies, such as Victoria Police, WorkSafe, Parks Victoria, VicRoads and, when the occasion demands, AFP, Taxi Services Commission, the Sheriff's Office and the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

"We want to ensure that buses are driven by people who are qualified and fit for work and that operators provide vehicles that are well maintained and mechanically sound.

"Even if tourists take only one bus trip in Victoria, we want that to be a safe one. We regard our role as the safety regulator to be paramount in achieving this aim," Mr Turner added.