The back of a bus caught fire yesterday morning while it was travelling along Oxford St into the city carrying 30 passengers.
This incident is reminiscent of the explosion of a gas bus last year which prompted the union to call for increased safety measures on gas buses to protect drivers and passengers.
On site shortly after the bus caught fire Divisional Secretary Chris Preston called for all buses to be fitted with fire suppression systems to avoid any further fires occurring.
“These incidents simply should not be happening. We have the technology to stop these fires from happening and we should be using this on all buses. Nothing should be more important than safety on our public transport services”
Click below to see the story covered on Channel 7:
One year after a gas bus exploded in Hillsdale, prompting drivers to pull them all off the roads, promised safety measures for the buses have not yet been implemented.
STA said it would oversee the installation of fire suppression systems for each gas bus, but not one has been installed.
RTBU officials were called bullies and thugs by the Premier when they took the decision to remove all gas buses from service.
But a recent report by the NSW Office of Transport Safety Investigations vindicated drivers’ actions and gave a further mandate for action to improve safety on buses.
Gary Way spoke with Channel 10 about his concerns saying the lack of action so far was a real concern for drivers.
“It is critical the STA and the Government act now to ensure the safety of drivers and bus travellers,” he said.
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:
- Fire suppression systems fitted to the engine bay.
- Warning light in drivers cabin.
- STA’s radio room available to take drivers experiencing a problem through a checklist that will ensure all possible safety actions are taken.
- 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. Read more »
All Brisbane gas buses were taken off the road over the weekend following a gas explosion at Virginia bus depot.
The move provides a further example of the good sense NSW drivers showed last year in taking buses off the roads, after footage came to light showing a gas bus exploding on the road.
Unlike the NSW State Government, which had to be dragged kicking and screaming to take action on the issue, Brisbane City Council moved quickly to take all gas buses out of service until measures could be implemented to ensure the safety of drivers and the travelling public. Read more »
Swift action taken by drivers over safety issues associated with gas-powered buses has forced STA to acknowledge the problem and take the necessary steps to fix it.
The Bus Division appeared today before the Industrial Relations Commission to bring an end to drivers’ dispute with State Transit Authority over safety on gas powered buses.
Last week bus drivers took a strong stand for workplace safety, after video footage came to light showing a dangerous explosion on a gas-powered STA bus in July.
Because of your actions, STA was forced to finally start taking the issue seriously – after months of assuring drivers that everything was fine.
Yesterday drivers were publicly vindicated when STA advised the Industrial Relations Commission (IRC) that it would it would be going to tender for fire suppression systems, which will be added to around 250 Mercedes gas-powered buses. Read more »
Last night at a meeting at Unions NSW the Bus Division tabled a letter, explaining the action that drivers took this week to ensure their safety and the safety of passengers after video footage came to light showing a gas powered bus exploding near Port Botany.
The letter stated that:
“On Tuesday bus drivers took the difficult decision to withdraw STA gas buses from circulation until assurances could be given that these buses were safe. Despite the inevitable political backlash, drivers felt that this was the only responsible course of action they could take…
The Industrial Relations Commission later directed drivers to return the gas buses to service, but also directed STA to form a working party to address our safety concerns and to report back to the Commission next Tuesday.” Read the full letter
Action taken yesterday by bus drivers has finally forced STA to take the safety of drivers and the travelling public seriously.
After a video, brought forward by a whistleblower member of the public, exposed just how dangerous the recent explosion of a gas-powered bus was, the Industrial Relations Commission ordered STA to report back on this issue by the 25 October. Read more »
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Divisional Secretary Chris Preston & Divisional President Gary Way
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