Bus safety audit results in numerous defects, NSW

A safety audit operation at a Sydney bus company by NSW Police Force Traffic and Highway Patrol Command and Roads and Maritime Services has located major defects on nine buses, NSW Police say.

A further 18 buses at the Turrella depot, which has a number of buses which do school runs, were found to have minor defects, which can include loose bumpers, cabin lights not working or damaged windscreens. These buses were not taken off the road.

The heavy-vehicle safety audit operation was conducted about 6am today with a total of 27 buses inspected.

One of the buses was found to have a non-compliant speed limiter capable of reaching speeds of more than 140km/h. It was grounded and issued with a red label defect, while the company was issued with a penalty notice.

Other major defects included frayed seatbelts and other seatbelts issues, bolts missing from the seat anchors of a driver’s seat, a snapped shock absorber on a front steering tyre, sharp protrusions on the inner framework of a bus, air suspension and rust issues.

Three of those buses were issued yellow labels for immediate repair.

Minor defects included mechanical, ancillary and chassis issues.

Further inquiries will be undertaken by Roads and Maritime Services.

Assistant Commissioner John Hartley from the Traffic and Highway Patrol Command said given the important work that public passenger vehicles do on our roads, safety must be paramount.

“To identify one bus capable of doing over 140km/h and others with major defects proves the worth of the work done by the joint taskforce.

“With buses operating every day of every week, operators must ensure that vehicles are able to operate safely on our roads.”

Roads and Maritime Services General Manager of Compliance Operations Paul Endycott said a strong message is being sent to operators right across the state that driving unsafe heavy vehicles will not be tolerated.

“Safety on our roads is of paramount importance and any bus found with a major defect notice will not be permitted to operate until defect issues are addressed and the vehicle is safe to be back on the road,” Mr Endycott said.

“It’s about time this small minority within the heavy vehicle industry realise how serious we are about stamping out unsafe practices which compromise road user safety – they can either pull their act together or we will get them off the road – it’s pretty simple.”

Police and the Roads and Maritime Services will continue to conduct safety audits on the transport industry to ensure the safety of passengers and other road users.

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