Bus operator prosecuted after Great Ocean Road bus crash
BUS Safety Victoria (BSV) has prosecuted a bus operator after one of his vehicles was involved in a fatal crash on the Great Ocean Road.
While the operator was not the driver of the bus, Frank Chang (trading as DCT Tour) was providing a bus service which rolled on the Great Ocean Road near Glenaire in April 2017, resulting in one fatality and serious injuries to several other passengers.
Chang was using the bus under a long-term lease from an accredited bus operator, but provided services without holding the accreditation required under the Bus Safety Act 2009 (Vic).
Accreditation imposes strict requirements on operators: to have appropriate safety management systems in place that are regularly audited, for all buses to pass regular roadworthy inspections, and for drivers to be appropriately trained and supervised.
“Our growing intelligence base about some tour and charter operators has given us sufficient safety concerns to increase our compliance work in that area”, BSV director of bus safety Shaun Rodenburg said.
“This prosecution, and the action taken against another operator at the Great Ocean Road yesterday, demonstrates our increasing enforcement pressure on those who put bus passengers at risk in Victoria.”
Following an investigation by BSV (a branch of regulator Transport Safety Victoria), Chang was charged with operating a commercial bus service without being accredited, as well as displaying accredited bus operator number plates on a bus when not accredited.
The matter was heard on August 22 at the Heidelberg Magistrates’ Court. Chang pleaded guilty and was placed on a two-year good behaviour bond and ordered to pay $10,000 to the Court Fund.
“The significant fine for this offence reflects the importance of bus operator accreditation as a means of ensuring public safety,” Mr Rodenburg said.
“BSV conducts regular activities to ensure bus operators are appropriately permissioned and complying with accreditation conditions.”