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Media Release – Bus drivers call for immediate action to address fires

Bus drivers are calling for a swift roll-out of vital fire suppressant systems on all buses across the state, following revelations that buses a catching on fire at a rate of one a week.

A NSW Office of Transport Safety Investigations report which shows a 38 per cent increase in bus fires over the past two years.

Rail, Tram and Bus Union NSW (RTBU) Bus Division Secretary, Chris Preston said that following a long campaign by bus drivers, the State Government has finally agreed to roll-out fire suppressant systems on all State Transit Authority buses by December 2016, however the union has concerns that there is no timetable to install the systems on all other buses across the state.

“The NSW Government has guaranteed drivers that every single STA bus in the state will have a fire suppressant system fitted by the end of this year. Of course we would have preferred to see that roll-out sooner, but we certainly be holding the government to its timeline,” Mr Preston said.

“The question now is why only State Transit Authority buses have been targeted for this retro-fitting. Surely what is good enough for government run buses is good enough for every single bus across the state.

“It is beyond belief that we are still seeing our buses catching on fire on our roads. It is putting passengers, drivers, pedestrians and other road users at enormous risk.

“These fire suppressant systems are proven to dramatically decrease the likelihood of bus fires taking hold. This is a vital safety system that we need to see rolled out across all fleets in the state.

“A bus catching fire every week is completely unacceptable. We can’t continue to allow the public and our drivers be put at risk.”

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