Bus and Tram Express
Bus and Tram Express

Union action delivers for gas bus safety

Jul 11, 2012News

Last week the Office of Transport Safety Investigations released its report on the investigation into the gas bus that caught fire when specialing back to the Port botany depot. The incident saw drivers pull all gas buses off the roads to ensure the safety of commuters and drivers.

RTBU welcomes the release of the report, which vindicates the concerns the union has had over safety of these buses for a long time.

As a result of the safety ban taken on the day the union was able to get a commitment from STA to implement four safety measures to prevent similar incidents in the future. They were:

  1. Fire suppression systems fitted to the engine bay.
  2. Warning light in drivers cabin.
  3. STA’s radio room available to take drivers experiencing a problem through a checklist that will ensure all possible safety actions are taken.
  4. Remedial training for drivers in emergency procedures instead of providing training once and expecting it to be remembered.

The union is pleased to see that all four are either being implemented or are in the process of being implemented.

The union was given the opportunity, prior to the final release of the report, to comment on its contents. The union was then able to identify other areas of concern that could be addressed. These were:

  1. The high number of fires in the same model buses in Australia since 2008 – 11 in total.
  2. No fire retardant material used in the interior of the buses.
  3. No heat shielding on the floor hatches.

OTSI responded to these concerns with the following:

  1. OTSI has a systemic ongoing investigation into this issue.
  2. This issue will be looked at in the systemic investigation.
  3. This is difficult to test. Hatches providing access to bus driveline components are for maintenance personnel and are regularly removed and refitted.

Members will be keept up-to-date on this as more information comes to light.