Bus Safety Victoria (BSV) is working with the Chinese consulate (Melbourne) to reduce the risk that Chinese tourists will be involved in bus accidents.
Lisa Faldon, Director Bus Safety, and Bei Deng, consul at the Chinese consulate, have discussed safety messages for Chinese tourists using tour and charter services. The meeting happened after Mr Deng reached out to BSV with his concerns.
“Mr Deng’s approach has been most timely as BSV prepares for Chinese New Year 2020.
“The boom in tourism to high profile destinations such as the Great Ocean Road and Philip Island means there is an increased demand for tour and charter bus services.
“The increasing demand for bus services appears to be tempting some operators to flout legislative responsibilities and sub-contract without considering safety,” explained Ms Faldon.
BSV enforcement activities have identified two main problems:
- operators providing services without appropriate registration or accreditation
- operators and drivers failing to comply with their legislated responsibilities for safety.
Potentially, this could lead to passenger carrying vehicles being on Victorian roads without appropriate safety equipment, in an unmaintained state and/or under the control of drivers exhibiting dangerous and unsafe practices.
“The increasing demand for Chinese speaking drivers is creating a demand that is potentially being filled by workers new to the industry. These drivers may be unaware of their legislated responsibilities for bus safety.
“This all adds up to an increased risk of serious injury and death for passengers and motorists.
“Mr Deng has recognised these issues and BSV welcomes the opportunity to work with the Chinese consulate to communicate vital bus safety messages directly to Chinese tourists,” Ms Faldon said.
Mr Deng is confident the majority of tour and charter operators obey safety regulations but wants to ensure Chinese tourists are only travelling with these safe operators.
“Most Chinese tourists are booking their holiday activities online. Reaching them through our consulate communications channels will help them book with the right operator, said Mr Deng.
“We will be working with BSV to provide Chinese language materials aimed at tourists as well as ongoing bus safety community awareness activities,” he said.
BSV is looking forward to working with Mr Deng and the Chinese consulate in a joint effort to keeping people safe when travelling on buses in Victoria.
Media enquiries: Pauline Constantine, Senior Communications Advisor, 0421 579 148