An evaluation of the inspection practices of Australian bus operators

Roadworthiness inspections have been shown to contribute to overall bus safety, however, little is known about inspection practices. This study was undertaken to examine the inspection practices of bus operators in Australia. A survey of 171 bus operators was conducted in three jurisdictions and investigated characteristics, inspection practices and perceptions of inspections by operators. A range of inspection practices were revealed and characteristics, including location of operation, fleet size and service type, as well as perceptions regarding importance of inspections, were found to influence inspection practices. Pre-trip inspections were widely conducted irrespective of the nature of the operation or the operators’ perceptions of this inspection type. Mandatory, independent inspections were also well-acknowledged although the regimes vary across the jurisdictions. The recognition and implementation of time-distance based inspections were comparatively weaker and the practices of small, rural operators were significantly different from those of others. Implications of these findings are discussed, including the need for more intensive promotions of time-distance based inspections and the establishment of Regional Maintenance Centre for small, rural operators. In addition, implications for future research arising from this paper include the need to investigate the procedures and personnel conducting pre-trip inspections and the need to benchmark mandatory, independent inspections across jurisdictions to identify best practice. It is hoped that these insights will provide safety regulators and researchers with opportunities to improve inspection practices, enhance bus roadworthiness and improve bus safety.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This paper was sponsored by TRB committee AP018T Task Force on Transit Safety and Security.
  • Authors:
    • Qiu, Jianrong
    • Logan, David
    • Oxley, Jennifer Anne
    • Lowe, Christopher
  • Conference:
  • Date: 2018


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 14p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01658683
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 18-03328
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Jan 8 2018 10:49AM