Report a bus incident

All accredited and registered bus operators have a duty to report incidents and accidents to Bus Safety Victoria.

The bus incident hotline and incident forms are for bus operators only.

Oral notification

  • Call 1800 301 151 (24 hours/7 days)

Written notification

Passengers who would like to report a bus safety concern should contact us by emailing information@transportsafety.vic.gov.au or calling 1800 223 022. Please contact Public Transport Victoria (PTV) about service issues.

Incident categories

Three categories of reporting and new types of reportable incidents were introduced in the Bus Safety Regulations 2020 (Vic)

  • Category 1 incidents require oral notification as soon as possible and written notification within 72 hours.
  • Category 2 incidents require written notification within 72 hours
  • Category 3 incidents relating to anti-social behaviour require notification on a monthly basis

Category 3 monthly reporting by bus operators commenced on 1 January 2021.

Category definitions

category 1 incident, in relation to a bus operated by an accredited bus operator or a registered bus operator, means any of the following—

  • (a) any circumstance, act or omission involving the bus that results in the death of, or serious injury to, any person;
  • (b) a collision between the bus and any person;
  • (c) a collision between the bus and any vehicle, infrastructure or other property that results in significant damage to property;
  • (d) an implosion, explosion or fire;
  • (e) the bus being in motion while not under the effective control of a driver;
  • (f) an alleged assault that directly involves the bus driver and has the potential to result in the death of, or serious injury to, any person;
  • (g) a circumstance where the driver of the bus is in contravention of the bus operator's alcohol and drug management policy;
  • (h) a terrorist act on or near the bus;
  • (i) a circumstance where a child is left unattended on the bus at the conclusion of a bus route or service;
  • (j) a mechanical failure of the bus that has the potential to result in the death of, or serious injury to, any person;

category 2 incident, in relation to a bus operated by an accredited bus operator or a registered bus operator, means any circumstance, act or omission involving the bus, other than an incident that is a category 1 incident, that results in any of the following—

  • (a) a person requiring immediate treatment as an in-patient in a hospital;
  • (b) attendance by a police officer or health professional;
  • (c) a divergence of the bus from a highway;

category 3 incident, in relation to a bus operated by an accredited bus operator or a registered bus operator, means any of the following incidents, other than an incident that is a category 1 or category 2 incident—

  • (a) an alleged assault that occurs on the bus but does not directly involve the bus driver;
  • (b) an alleged assault witnessed by the bus driver that occurs in the immediate vicinity of the bus, including at a bus stopping point;
  • (c) a circumstance involving suspected or attempted self-harm that has the potential to result in the death of, or serious injury to, any person.
  • Slip/Trip/Fall – Rear Door: a slip/trip/fall that has occurred specifically as a result of rear door boarding or exiting.
  • Slip/Trip/Fall: a slip/trip/fall that has occurred but not as a result of rear door boarding or exiting and did not result in the injury to any person.
  • Objects thrown at/on bus: an object thrown at or on the bus that did not result in any damage to the bus or injury to any person.

Category scenarios

Category 1

Category 1 Incident Definition

Scenario

(a) the death of, or serious injury to, any person

A bus driver reversed a bus into a bus shelter and the shelter collapsed. A person was in the shelter at the time and was transported to hospital by ambulance with a suspected broken leg.

A bus driver was backing into a bus bay prior to letting school students off the bus, as per normal procedure. While doing so the bus came into contact with the limb of a tree forcing the rear window in and cutting one student above the eye.

A bus ran into the back of a ‘B Double’ truck and trailer combination on the Hume Highway. Both vehicles were in the left-hand lane and the truck was entering the highway from the service centre. Seven passengers travelling on the coach were slightly injured and the driver was initially trapped in the bus before being freed by emergency services. The driver suffered fractures to both legs.

A bus overturned on the highway. Emergency services attended the scene and all passengers, as well as the driver, were transported to hospital by ambulance.

The driver was conducting a pre-trip inspection of the bus in the depot. While checking the tail lights at the rear of the bus, the bus suddenly rolled backwards over the driver resulting in death.

(b) a collision between the bus and any person

A bus was making a left hand turn when a pedestrian was hit while crossing the road. The pedestrian sustained minor injuries and left the scene of the incident.

(c) a collision between the bus and any vehicle, infrastructure or other property that results in significant damage to property

A bus was parked in a bus bay when, high winds caused a large branch to snap off a tree and enter the bus through the roof. It narrowly missed the driver and students seated behind the driver. No persons were injured but the incident resulted in extensive damage to the vehicle.

Vehicle does right hand turn in front of bus, major damage to the vehicles, minor injuries sustained to vehicle driver.

Rock was thrown at bus from overpass by children. Rock hit front windscreen resulting in the windscreen shattering. No injuries to driver or passengers.

A bus was carrying out a passenger service when a 4WD utility failed to give way at an intersection and collided with the bus. There were no injuries to any of the passengers on board (approximately 26 children and three adults) or the driver. The bus sustained major damage due to the collision. The police attended the accident site.

(d) an implosion, explosion or fire

Driver noticed smoke coming from the engine bay whilst travelling on the highway. Driver stopped bus, evacuated passengers and attempted to extinguish fire without success. Fire caused major damage to the bus. No injuries were sustained to driver or passengers.

(e) the bus being in motion while not under the effective control of a driver

The driver of a bus failed to apply the handbrake when leaving the bus. As a result, the bus rolled through a fence and trees, before coming to a stop. No persons were injured.

(f) an alleged assault that directly involves the bus driver and has the potential to result in the death of, or serious injury to, any person

Passenger was upset with driver for not stopping the bus at designated stop. Passenger spat on bus driver then threatened and assaulted driver with a glass bottle. Driver sustained serious head injuries.

(g) a circumstance where the driver of the bus is in contravention of the bus operator's alcohol and drug management policy

A bus driver was breath tested by police and returned a positive breath alcohol reading of 0.04. The driver received a fine from the police and lost 10 demerit points.

(h) a terrorist act on or near the bus

A person boards a bus and announces that they have a bomb strapped vest and that they will blow up the bus and kill all passengers. The bomb is detonated causing serious injuries and death to passengers.

(i) a circumstance where a child is left unattended on the bus at the conclusion of a bus route or service

Driver returned the bus to the depot at the conclusion of a school bus service. As the driver was cleaning the inside of the bus, the driver noticed a child asleep on the back row of seats. The driver woke the child who was scared but uninjured.

(j) a mechanical failure of the bus that had the potential to result in the death of, or serious injury to any person

The bus was travelling along highway when wheel dislodged from the bus or brakes or steering failed. Serious injuries sustained to driver and passengers on bus.

Category 2

Any circumstance, act or omission involving the bus – other than an incident that is a category 1 incident – that results in any of the following:

Category 2 Incident Definition

Scenario

(a) a person requiring immediate treatment as an in-patient in a hospital

Passenger attempted to board the bus via rear door, misjudged step resulting in the passenger falling and receiving a minor cut above the eye. Ambulance attended and transported passenger to hospital for observation.

(b) attendance by a police officer or health professional

Bus stopped to avoid collision with another vehicle. Elderly passenger sitting in disabled access area has fallen and hit face on opposite seats when bus stopped suddenly. Ambulance was called and treated on-site.

Driver was at last stop on route when they noticed an unresponsive passenger at the rear of the bus appearing to be intoxicated or under the influence of drugs. Driver called police and ambulance to attend who removed passenger from bus.

(c) divergence of the bus from a highway

A kangaroo jumped out in front of bus travelling on highway. Driver took evasive action to avoid colliding with kangaroo and run off the highway into the embankment.

Category 3

Any of the following incidents, other than an incident that is a category 1 or category 2 incident:

Category 3 Incident Definition

Scenario

(a) an alleged assault that occurs on the bus but does not directly involve the bus driver

Two passengers were physically fighting on the bus and sustained minor injuries. Both passengers got off the bus at the next bus stop and the bus continued on its journey.

(b) an alleged assault witnessed by the driver that occurs in the immediate vicinity of the bus (up to 3 metres), including at a bus stopping point

Bus was stopped at the bus terminus when the driver witnessed two people verbally arguing with each other. One person then struck the other with their shopping bag resulting in a cut above their eye. Neither person boarded the bus and the driver continued the service.

(c) a circumstance involving suspected or attempted self-harm that has the potential to result in a death of, or serious injury to, any person

Bus driver was stopped at the last bus stop of the route. Driver approached passenger who was sitting at the rear of the bus to advise passenger to exit the bus and noticed the passenger was non-responsive and covered in blood from their wrists. Driver called ambulance.

Missiles

Rock was thrown at bus by children sitting at bus stop. Rock hit side panel of bus. No significant damage to bus and no injuries to any person.

Slip/Trip/Fall - resulting in no or minor injuries

Student slipped on step while exiting the bus via the rear door. No injuries to passenger.

Passenger was standing in bus when bus stopped under heavy braking to avoid collision with car. Passenger fell but refused medical assistance.

Who reports incidents?

You may have your own policies and procedures in place to meet your duty to report. For example, some organisations may have a specific person responsible for reporting, others may encourage staff who are involved in an incident to notify us.

How does TSV use incident data?

We use the data we collect from bus operators to monitor trends and safety risks across the Victorian transport network.

Our bus incident statistics page has the annual incident statistics and quarterly summaries for bus incidents.

Incident causal analysis

Identifying trends and proactive safety

While incident causal analysis is not mandatory, it contributes materially to improving bus safety by allowing us to collate and find trends in incidents. We therefore urge all bus operators to analyse incidents and provide the results to TSV.

Publication of incidents and their contributing factors

It is vital that the data gathered during incident analysis is shared among the bus industry to allow everyone to learn from incidents. To facilitate the sharing of data, TSV intends to publish on its website de-identified incidents and their accompanying contributing factors.

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