Buslink NT is raising awareness of a significant safety issue affecting the Australian bus industry, its drivers and the public.

In an attempt to educate drivers and help prevent bus rollaways, Buslink NT has released an educational video which highlights the scale of the problem nationally. The video also outlines the common circumstances in which rollaways occur and demonstrates ways to effectively counter the problem.

Buslink NT has shared the video with all employees to reinforce best practices for prevention. It is also sharing the video with all bus industry associations throughout Australia in the hope of better educating drivers and reducing the number of uncontrolled vehicle movements, which are occurring on average once a day across Australia.

Bus rollaways are now also a subject of an investigation by the NSW Office of Transport and Safety Investigations.

This video and its distribution is in response to an enforceable undertaking entered into by Buslink NT with NT WorkSafe regarding an alleged contravention of the Work Health and Safety Act following the fatality of a Buslink NT driver in 2017.

Buslink NT’s CEO, Tony Hopkins, said that the 2017 fatality was a tragedy.

“This employee was a much loved and valued member of the Buslink team and her death in 2017 is still felt as a great loss,” Mr Hopkins said.

“The safety of our employees, passengers and communities has always been our biggest priority and since the accident, we have taken steps to enhance engineering controls to help prevent a similar rollaway vehicle incident.

“We will continue to take all reasonably practicable steps to provide a safe work environment for our employees, customers and the general public.”

As part of the enforceable undertaking with NT WorkSafe and as a part of the company’s drive for continuous improvement in safety, Buslink NT has delivered several initiatives with the aim of providing substantial benefits to the workplace, industry and the broader community.

In addition to the video on the prevention of vehicle rollaways, these initiatives include the rollout of Mobileye collision warning systems to all Buslink NT and Queensland buses (completed in mid-2021) and funding of a road safety campaign with the Automobile Association of the Northern Territory on the dangers of distracted driving.

Mobileye consists of a camera mounted on the windshield which constantly monitors the road in front of the vehicle and displays information on a small dashboard device.

In addition to visual alerts, the unit sounds an audio warning to assist the driver in preventing or mitigating a collision. The alerts monitor for safe following distance, forward collision alert, lane departure without signalling and pedestrian and cyclist collision warnings.