Safe Bus Travel
You can view the safe bus travel brochure and video on the Safe Bus Travel page here.
Over 183 million bus and coach trips are made in Victoria each year. That’s 119 million in metro route buses, 27 million in dedicated school buses, 20 million in tour and charter coaches, 15 million in regional town buses, and 1.5 million in V/Line coaches.
Fatalities and serious injuries associated with all of these trips are relatively low, making bus travel one of the safest modes of transport. Any serious accident is one too many.
Bus safety regulators, operators, workers, manufacturers and Government are committed to achieving safe bus transport for the benefit of all Victorians.
The Bus Safety Act 2009 (Vic) (BSA), administered by Transport Safety Victoria (TSV), is a law that all bus operators must comply with.
It requires bus operators to be:
- Accredited if they are providing a commercial bus service or a local bus service.
- Registered if their bus service is either a community and private bus service or a commercial mini-bus service.
Accredited bus operators must have comprehensive safety and risk management systems in place which are assessed and audited by TSV. This provides peace of mind to all Victorians.
To continually improve bus safety we ask that you please play your part too.
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 you do, it causes safety issues for the passengers and other vehicles on the road.
- 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.
- Don’t be noisy or unruly, the driver has to concentrate on driving.
- 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.
- 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.
If you are someone that engages bus services, such as a travel agent, event organiser, school, or a sporting/community group, you must ensure you engage an accredited or registered bus operator as they operate their bus services in accordance with the BSA. It is your responsibility under the BSA to find out if this requirement applies to you.
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 from a rental company to drive yourself, you must ensure you operate that bus according to the BSA. Depending on how you intend to use it, you may need to be registered or accredited as a bus operator. It is your responsibility under the BSA to find out if this requirement applies to you.
If you are unsure about your responsibility under the BSA please contact Transport Safety Victoria on 1800 223 022 option 2 or visit the website
Buses are essential transport for many people who want to access local services and social activities. Unfortunately many bus passengers are also our most vulnerable citizens.
- If you’re a passenger who has special needs or if you want to avoid slips, trips or falls:
- Please ask the driver for help.
- Find your seat in 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.
If you’re another passenger, you should:
- Vacate the priority area if someone with special needs requires it.
- Assist if you see someone who needs help or notify the bus driver.
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.
- Vacate the priority area if someone with special needs requires it.
- 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.
2016 BUS SAFETY WEEK REPORT
Transport Safety Victoria and BusVic successfully delivered the State’s inaugural Bus Safety Week from Monday June 20 to Friday June 24, 2016. The campaign was a joint government /industry initiative and was supported in kind by other Partners including PTV, VicRoads, TAC, V/Line, Victoria Police, Department of Education and the TWU.
The campaign’s aim was to increase awareness of the good safety record of bus travel, the virtues of Bus Operator Accreditation, and the concepts that safety is a shared responsibility and we all have a role to play in improving the experience for all. The message was that bus safety underpins the experience you have as a commuter, tourist, driver or member of community. Secondary themes were based around shared roads, school bus safety, tourism and charter services, elderly and transport/social inclusion/accessible transport and on system safety behaviour.
The week included bus safety activities and promotions such as:
• A launch and two day promotional/educational activities at the main concourse of Southern Cross Station, where there are approximately 50,000 passenger boardings per day.
• Promotional/educational activities at main bus interchanges in Bendigo, Ballarat, Geelong, Shepparton, Morwell and Warrnambool.
• 40,000 Bus Safety brochures were distributed at these events; and the bus and V/Line networks.
• Print, radio and television media coverage in each of the towns listed above.
• Safe school bus travel sessions delivered to 1500 students at Southern Cross and at schools in the towns listed above.
• Promotion/education on board buses by Multi Modal Authorised Officers and Maori Wardens on the metro bus network.
• Development and deployment of a 3 minute sketch video, launch summary video
• subsequent safety messages which were shared by our Partners on their social media platforms, boasting over 500,000 followers.
• Presentation delivered to over 300 State School Business Managers espousing the virtues of engaging an Accredited bus operator to deliver their bus services or the need to be a Registered Operator if delivering them.
• 60 bus shelter adverts in high profile locations such as Victoria Parade, Hoddle St, Burwood Highway.
• 12 buses with promotional decals operating in the metro area and regional centres listed above.
• 3000 A3 posters and 30,000 hand rail hangers displayed on buses in the metro area and regional centres listed above.
• A favourite bus driver competition, for which we received over 100 entries from the public which showcased the critical customer service and safety role that drivers play. The winning drivers were presented their awards at the 2016 Maintenance Conference. Here some examples of the entries received:
“I think Paul is the safest driver because he is kind , I moved here from Perth cause my dad left us and I am new here. He makes me feel safe and comfy to go with him to my new school, he drives really safe and says hello and goodbye which means he cares , thank you Paul . I appreciate feeling and being safe”
“My name is Riley, I have Autism and I love buses. I like to spend my spare time riding on buses. I have developed a relationship with one bus driver in particular and that is why I am nominating Merv from Cardinia Transit Ventura Pakenham for ‘My Favourite Bus Driver’. Merv is always patient with me letting me talk to him while he drives. I especially enjoy spending time with Merv when there are no customers because we sing together to Gold 104.3. Merv is always polite, always on time and drives responsibly to ensure a nice smooth trip. “
BusVic sincerely thank AAT Kings and GrayLine Australia for each providing a Great Ocean Rd Day Trip for 4 as prizes for the winning entries from the public.
Other Resources and Partner Acknowledgements
BUS SAFETY VICTORIA
Bus Safety Victoria is a branch of Transport Safety Victoria - the State’s safety regulator of public transport.
Ph: 1800 223 022 option 2
BUS ASSOCIATION VICTORIA (BUSVIC)
Bus Association Victoria Inc is the voluntary professional association for Victoria’s accredited route, school, tour and charter and registered bus and coach operators.
Ph: 03 9645 3000
PUBLIC TRANSPORT VICTORIA
TRANSPORT WORKERS UNION
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION AND TRAINING
PUBLIC USERS TRANSPORT ASSOCIATION
VICTORIAN COMMUNITY TRANSPORT ASSOCIATION
TRANSPORT ACCIDENT COMMISSION
PUBLIC TRANSPORT OMBUDSMAN