Campaign hub

Campaign materials for maritime and bus safety

Maritime safety campaigns

Prepare to Survive: Know the Five

Ending up in the water is one of the greatest risks to the safety of boaters and paddlers in cool Victorian waters.

It happens to the best of us. And often for reasons out of our control.

Preparing to survive is a skill.

Preparing to survive is part of mastering your control of your vessel, and your knowledge of the environment.

Prepare to survive campaign

Maritime Safety Victoria experts advise that there are five fundamental steps to help ensure your survival.

Know the five

  1. Know the weather
  2. Practise getting back on
  3. Carry a distress beacon
  4. Lock in a buddy plan
  5. Wear a lifejacket

Each step is being promoted by MSV and partner agencies, alongside expert advice and personal survival story videos.

Find out more and watch the videos on the Prepare to Survive microsite

Stakeholders can download assets to share from our Campaign kit

Ride Right

Maritime Safety Victoria is helping personal watercraft (PWC) riders play by the rules.

Carry your licence

Follow speed and distance rules

Wear a lifejacket

Respect others

Carry a torch

Paddle Safe Paddle Smart

Figures show that the fatality rate among paddlers is increasing. Maritime Safety Victoria is determined to alert paddlers to the importance of wearing a lifejacket and carrying multiple means of raising the alarm.

Be able to raise the alarm

Paddling behaviour and incident reports

David Hourigan, Director of Transport Safety Victoria (TSV), said he was concerned by study findings that come at a time when kayaks, canoes, sit on top kayaks, stand up paddleboards and surf skis are increasing in popularity.

"I welcome the Coroners Court report that examined data from 1 July 2000 to 30 June 2016 and found that, of 107 recreational boater deaths, 19 (17.8 per cent) were paddlers.

"The 19 deceased paddlers were all males and not one had a means of raising the alarm.

"Eleven of the paddlers had a lifejacket with them and seven were wearing them - but only five had them correctly fitted."

A market research study commissioned by MSV found that paddlers thought their activity was low risk and this attitude is at odds with the Coroners findings.

Bus safety videos

TSV has created a series of videos on the theme 'Bus safety: A shared responsibility'. The animated videos are designed to empower people to take responsibility for their own safety and the safety of others on and around buses.

Shared roads

When you're driving, give way to a bus merging into traffic - it's not just courtesy, it's the law. It helps keep you and others safe and helps the bus driver keep to the timetable.

Remember that buses are large vehicles that can't stop quickly. All road users (drivers, pedestrians, cyclists) need to allow buses ample space and time for braking. Sudden stops can sometimes cause passengers to fall and injure themselves.

You, or someone important to you, might be the bus passenger affected by sudden braking.

Leave dedicated bus lanes clear for buses only.

You may drive in a bus lane for a distance of up to 100 metres if you are:

  • Entering or leaving a road.
  • Entering a part of the road from a service road, a road shoulder or an emergency
  • stopping lane.
  • Overtaking a vehicle that is making a u-turn from the centre of the road or giving a right turn signal.
  • Entering a marked lane, or a part of the road where there is room for a line of traffic (other than motorbikes, bicycles, motorised wheelchairs or animals).

Do not park in bus zones, bus stops or other parking signed for buses. When car drivers do, it causes safety issues for the passengers and other vehicles on the road.


Safe school bus travel

For students

  • Stand well back from the road and don't push and shove when waiting for the school bus.
  • Only approach the kerb once the school bus completely stops.
  • While on board sit down and hold on.
  • If the bus has seatbelts you must wear them at all times.
  • Be aware that your noise levels and behaviour could distract the driver.
  • When leaving the bus never cross the road until the bus has moved away and you can clearly see all road traffic.
  • Remove your headphones and ignore your mobile phone so that you can be fully aware of your surroundings.

For parents

  • Try to park on the same side of the road as the school bus stop so your child doesn't have to cross the road. Remember many school bus stops are located on roads that have 80/100 km speed limits.

For car drivers

  • Slow down and watch for students when you see a school bus has stopped.


Local bus services

Buses are essential transport for many people who want to access local services and social activities. Many bus passengers are also our most vulnerable citizens.

  • If you're a passenger who has special needs:
  • Please ask the driver for help.
  • Make your way to the priority seating area by using the handrails.
  • Use the stop button and wait for the bus to stop before standing and moving to the exit.
  • Use the handrails to help you get off the bus safely.

Passengers should:

  • Always offer the priority area when someone with special needs requires it.
  • Assist if you see someone who needs help or notify the bus driver.


Tour and charter

If you charter a bus, you should ensure you engage a bus operator who is either accredited or registered, to provide those charter services.

Accredited bus operators will have comprehensive safety and risk management systems in place which are assessed and audited by TSV. This provides peace of mind to all bus passengers.

If you are hiring a bus to drive yourself, you must ensure you operate that bus in accordance with the Bus Safety Act. Depending on how you intend to use the bus, you may need to be accredited or registered as a bus operator. It is your responsibility to find out if these requirements apply to you.


Onboard safety

How to be a good passenger

  • Be respectful to bus drivers and don't distract them while they are driving - they have an important job to drive the bus safely.
  • If you see something wrong, say something to the driver or call the police.
  • Ensure people with special needs can access the priority area.
  • When the bus is crowded please move towards the rear.
  • Offer your seat to someone that needs it more than you do.
  • If there's a seatbelt, wear it – it's the law.
  • Safely store your bags to reduce trip hazards.


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