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Tamworth bus crash

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6 January 1992 2/92


The Minister for Land Transport, Bob Brown, today offered his condolences to the families of four people killed in the weekend bus crash near Tamworth, NSW.

Mr Brown, who is on leave, said he was deeply saddened by the deaths and injuries sustained in the accident.

"In the aftermath of this tragedy, it must not be forgotten that bus travel has an excellent safety record - six times better than that of private motor vehicles - and that every day, on average, six people die on Australian roads," said Mr Brown.

"Each year in Australia, buses and coaches travel approximately 500 million kilometres, and long-distance coaches travel about 100 million of those kilometres.

"The Federal Government has been working consistently to improve heavy vehicle safety since 1987, and will continue to do so.

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"We now have in place a package of Australian Design Rules which aim not only to prevent accidents, but to provide better protection for the occupants of buses and coaches in the event of a crash."

Mr Brown said that from 1 July 1992, all heavy buses and coaches would be required to have:

. seat belts in the front row and other exposed seats

stronger seats and seat anchorages, padding for all seats. and additional

He added: "Light buses in the 3.5 tonne to 5 tonne range will have to comply with these standards from January 1993,

"Additionally, the Federal Office of Road Safety is considering proposals to require lap-sash seat belts to be fitted to all coach seats from 1 July 1993. This will be put to a meeting of State and Federal Transport Ministers

in March.

"Australia also is one of the first countries to implement the latest international standard for bus rollover strength. This will bring about signif of new bus and coach structures. | CO.-.iiviONWEALTH



"As a result of investigations into the Pacific Highway bus crashes, proposals are also being finalised to incorporate improved emergency exits into bus and coach designs.

"The Federal Government's heavy vehicle design improvement package also includes the introduction of speed limiters for heavy buses and coaches, and new requirements for the installation of anti-lock braking and vehicle lighting."

Mr Brown said the new ADRs would apply only to new buses and coaches, as the responsibility for existing buses and coaches lay with the State and Territory governments.

"If the NSW Roads Minister wants to require the retrofitting of seat belts, it is his own State Government's responsibility to see that this is done," Mr Brown said.

"State and Territory governments will also have to address the issue of enforcement and accountability -- it is no use fitting seat belts in coaches if passengers do not wear them.

"Unfortunately, it is all too easy to talk about retrofitting safety devices such as seat belts to existing vehicles.

"The fact is that fitting three-point seat belts to existing coaches would require major structural changes, and may not even be feasible in some cases.

"However, it goes without saying that the Federal Government is committed to achieving the highest possible levels of safety for new vehicles coming on to the roads.

"Our work to improve heavy vehicle safety mirrors our concern about improving road safety generally, which can be seen in the Federal Government's 10-point "Black Spots" road safety package.

"The results of our efforts — and the efforts of State authorities and individual motorists — are beginning to bear fruit, with 1991 recording the lowest national road toll since 1957."


Media inquiries: Brian Hill (06) 277 7440

ATTACHMENT: Detailed list of recent or proposed changes to the Australian Design Rules (ADRs) in relation to heavy coaches and buses. Further information concerning these ADRs can be obtained from the Federal Office of Road




A deta are presented below.

Part A


Part B

Part C

led list of ADRs divided into three categories of progress

lists those ADRs which have been endorsed and are either applicable to new vehicles or are soon to be applicable.

lists the amendments to ADRs which are currently under consideration by VSAC.

lists proposals for further amendments or new ADRs which are out, for public comment,

ADRs Applicable to Medium 6 Heavy Omnibuses 6 PART Coaches

"coadh" is a special designation of omnibus (i.e. a passenger vehicle designed with over 9 seats) which is distinguished by not having spaces for standing passengers.

MD3 dver 3.5 tonnes GVM

MD4 = between 4.5 & 5.0 tonnes m e * over 5.0 tonnes

4/01 seat Belts From 1 July 1992- seat belts are required on "non-protected" seats and improved driver's seat belt fit (refer ADR 66 for protected seat dejtails)

5/02 Anchorages for seat Belts t Child Restraints From l July 1992- seat belt anchorages are required for driver’s seat aryl for "non-protected" seats

14 /01 Rear vision Mirror From l July 1991 minor changes including permitting convex mirrors to supplement mandatory flat mirrors

24 /Ol Tyre 6 Rim Selection From 1 July 1990 - extensive new requirements which include tyre and rim selection requirements and tyre placarding

28 /01 External Noise of Motor vehicles other than L-Group Vehicle? Between} i July 1992 and 1 July 1993 - stricter Rule

43/02 From 1


vehicle configuration t Dimensions July 1991 - administrative changes only; no significant in requirements

59/00 From 1

passeng MD4 - e


Omnibus Rollover etrength July 1992 for single decked vehicles designed to carry 16 ers or more; for category ME; 1 July-1993 for M D 2 , MD3 6 nsures the strength of an omnibus structure to provide e “survival space1* in a rollover crash

61/00 From 1


vehicle Marking July 1991 - administrative changes only; no in requirements significant

62/00 From 1


Mechanical Connections between Vehicles July 1991 - administrative changes only; no significant in requirements

65/00 Maximum Road speed Limiting for Heavy Goods vehicles 6 Heavy Omnibuses From 1 Jan 1991 (>14.5 t ) ; and 1 Jul 1991 (5 to 14.5 t) -

limits the maximum speed capability of these vehicles to 100 km/h

66/00 Seat Strength, Seat Anchorage strength & Padding From 1 Jul 1992 for vehicles designed to carry 16 passengers or more; ror heavy coaches; and 1 Jan 1993 for medium coaches - seats with improved strength, including their anchoring to the vehicle;

also torprotect occupants by padding on the structure or seat ahead, and improved fittings such as armrests to come into force. Requirements based on latest international standards.

PART Vehicle Advisor

B Amendments At Present Under Consideration by the Standards Advisory Committee of the Australian Transport y Council

(1) Extension of ADR 59 to all omnibuses & coaches (i.e. 1 1/2 & double-decker and vehicles with 10 -16 seats) 1 (Jul 1993 for heavy; 1 Jul 1994 others.

(2) Requirement for omnibuses over 14.5 tonnes to be fitted with anti-lock brakes (1 Jul 1993)

(3) General review of Australian Omnibus/Coach requirements- - to align with international standards ECE 36/52 where appropriate.

PART C Proposals At Present under consideration by the

Vehicle Standards Advisory Committee of the Australian Transport Advisory Council

(l) I no passeng rease strength of seat, seat anchorages by using the ar car pulse as the test performance criteria.

3Ut for public comment

(2) Installation of lap/sash seat-mounted seat belts in all coach seats (possibly Jul 1993 for heavy,ยท Jul 1994 others.)

out for public comment

(3) Majlor revision of ADR 58; proposal suggested to come into force 1 Jul 1993

- improved Emergency Exit provisions - eliminate the present distinction between public & private vehicles - adopt ADR 66 requirements for seat anchorage strength for vehicles not covered by ADR 66/00; (plus consequential

amendments to ADR 3/01 to delete its now-redundant MD3, MD4 & HE applicability) - improve doorway mirrors; plus several other minor changes, out for public comment