On Wednesday 7 August 2019, Bus Safety Victoria (BSV) suspended the accreditation of a tour and charter operator for not complying with a number of safety requirements. The operator was stopped from providing a commercial bus service until further notice.
One of the operator’s mini buses came to BSV’s attention on 21 July when it was intercepted on the Maroondah Highway at Bonnie Doon during a joint compliance activity with police from the Heavy Vehicle Unit.
The driver of the bus returned a positive test for drugs and has subsequently been charged on summons by Victoria Police. In addition, the driver was issued with infringements for failing to hold a current driver accreditation certificate, and maintain an accurate work diary.
BSV issued infringement notices for unmaintained fire extinguishers and for not displaying accredited bus operator number plates. Victoria Police also issued the operator with a defect notice for a cracked windscreen.
A second audit on 30 July 2019 revealed the operator had a variety of issues regarding compliance with its Management Information System (MIS) and Maintenance Management System (MMS).
It also established that the responsible person for the bus operator’s safety duties did not have appropriate oversight of the day to day processes of the bus services.
The Director, Bus Safety considered suspension of accreditation the most appropriate disciplinary action.
The decision was based on the:
- seriousness of the consequences of non-compliance
- lack of effective management of the safety risks
- potential impact upon the safety of passengers being transported by this business.
The suspension remained in place until 16 August when the operator demonstrated that they had the capacity, and would continue to have the capacity, to adhere to the MIS and MMS. In addition, the responsible person provided a system to ensure appropriate oversight of the day to day operations of the bus services provided.
This will be monitored over the coming months via BSV’s audit and compliance program.