Road Safety Experts Call For Reforms Following Bus Crash

3 July 2023

A road safety expert has listed four reforms to help make the bus and coach industry safer following Sunday night’s crash

Following Sunday night’s Hunter Valley bus crash that tragically claimed the lives of 10 passengers, an Australian road safety expert has listed four key reforms that must be made to make heavy vehicle public transport safer.

Professor Raphael Grzebieta is a professor emeritus of road safety ay the University of NSW and at the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine.
Upon talking to the Sydney Morning Herald after being recognised with a Member of the Order (AM) on the King’s birthday, he called for four ways to save lives on Australian buses and coaches.
The first point was to make seatbelts mandatory on buses in NSW, after NSW premier Chris Minns said earlier this week that the driver was responsible of ensuring passengers wore seatbelts, yet it wasn’t compulsory to wear them.

While Australian Design Rules (ADRs) require coaches to be fitted with seatbelts, route buses aren’t required to have seatbelts installed.

Grzebieta says seatbelts should be made mandatory to wear on all buses.

He also says unnecessary delays in introducing emergency braking and stability control must be fixed.

“Had there been electronic stability control, this may have been avoided,” Grzebieta told the Sydney Morning Herald.

The current government regulations mean electronic stability control and mandatory braking must be fitted into new models from November 1 this year and in older vehicles from November 1, 2024.

Grzebieta also wants to see ejection control and rollover crash standards after lobbying for years to adopt the US ejection mitigation rules for buses, cars and trucks.

Finally, he also wants black box recorders onboard to be made available to police to help decipher what goes wrong in tragic incidents.

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