Moving Australia


BIC Policy Statements

Technical, Environment and Safety

Industry Guidelines and Advisories


Climate Change

Carbon Markets and Public Transport

Vehicle Mass

Performance Based Standards

Industry Guidelines and Advisories

Fire Mitigation Advisory Fire Mitigation Advisory (3449 KB)

Fire Mitigation Advisory - Industry Advisory

Fire mitigation on buses is seen as a key safety issue for bus operators and drivers, bus suppliers and manufacturers, bus passengers and government agencies at all levels. Currently every week in Australia at least one bus experiences a potentially fatal fire incident. The potential for a fatal bus fire
in Australia does exist, especially for buses operating in high density urban environments or in traffic tunnels.
This Advisory has been developed as part of a joint project undertaken by the Bus Industry Confederation (BIC) and the Queensland, New South Wales and Western Australia transport authorities, to capture in one document the key actions to reduce the frequency and severity of fire on buses.

Door_Safety_Advisory Door_Safety_Advisory (5312 KB)

Door Safety Advisory - Industry Advisory

Industry Advisory on how to adopt & maintain proven successful door safety systems used by the bus and coach industry to ensure safe work practices by drivers and the safety of passengers.

Accessible_Transport_Standards Accessible_Transport_Standards (5946 KB)

Accessible Transport Standards - Operator Guidelines

Comprehensive guidelines on the Accessible Transport Standards under the Disability Discrimination Act.  This guide covers critical legislation, definitions, compliance time frames and how to achieve the compliance and techniques for communicating with people with disabilities.

Incident Management Guide Incident Management Guide (7885 KB)

Incident Management Guide - Operator Guidelines

The purpose of this guide is to provide specific guidelines on managing incidents to minimise the direct impact on staff and passengers (and indirect impact on family, friends and community). Bus and coach operators will learn how to minimise business risk, disruption and loss and ensure that services are provided in line with community expectations, duty of care and occupational health and safety requirements.

Incident_Pocket_Guide Incident_Pocket_Guide (557 KB)

Incident Management Pocket Guide - For Drivers and Operations Room


Whilst every serious injury or fatality that occurs on or around a bus is tragic, buses are indisputably the safest form of road transport.

Between 1989 and 2010 approximately 0.63 per cent of total road fatalities were suffered by bus and coach passengers in Australia.

Of the fatalities related to buses less than one third occurred inside the bus, more than one quarter were suffered by pedestrians and almost 40 per cent were suffered by drivers and passengers in other vehicles and cyclists.

With almost 1.5 billion passenger trips being made on buses every year in Australia, the odds of a bus passenger suffering a fatal accident are approximately one in 150 million.

The bus industry is committed to the road safety of passengers, employees and to the travelling public. 

Following the tragedy of the Kempsey and Grafton bus accidents in 1989 the industry has been at the forefront of initiatives to improve the safety performance of the bus and coach fleet.

Bus Operators have worked closely with Governments, manufacturers, and the travelling public to ensure the safety of passengers is paramount and operating practice reflects this commitment to safety.

Safety measures adopted since 1989 include:

Seatbelts in buses are an issue raised by some sections of the community focussed particularly on the school bus sector.  

The idea of mandating seatbelts on school buses has been raised by concerned parent groups who have been campaigning for this measure through the modification of Australian Design Rule 68/00, the Design Rule governing occupant protection on buses.

The Bus Industry Confederation believes mandatory seatbelts should only be introduced after full consideration of the impacts of such a decision and a full costs and benefits analysis undertaken of such a decision.

The availability of data on the cost of mandating seatbelts on all buses is limited to research on school buses.

However the costs and benefits are indicative of the potential costs of mandating seat belts on all (route and charter) buses.

The BIC believes costs associated with mandating seat belts through retrofitting or fitment of seatbelts in new buses with seatbelts should be met by Governments. This includes the cost of fleet expansion associated with any loss in carrying capacity due to the installation of seatbelts or a no standee policy on seat belted buses.

Download industry's Fire Mitigation Advisory developed to assist bus operators and manufacturers mitigate the risk of fire on buses.

Fire Mitigation Advisory Fire Mitigation Advisory (3449 KB)

Read the BIC submission to the National Transport Commission's review of Mass Limits on 2-axle Buses. This follows on from recent changes to mass limits in some jurisdictions and outlines the BIC position on achieving national, uniform and consistent mass limits regulations across Australia.

BIC Submission 2-Axle Mass Limits BIC Submission 2-Axle Mass Limits (3579 KB)

Read the BIC position on Chain of Responsibility and how it fits into the Heavy Vehicle National Law.

BIC Submission to COR Review BIC Submission to COR Review (130 KB)

Read the BIC policy position on schoobus seatbelts, based on our analysis of the safety record of school bus services in Australia.

BIC Seatbelt Position BIC Seatbelt Position (510 KB)

Read the BIC brief on bus vehicle safety.

BIC Brief, BIC Vehicle Safety BIC Brief, BIC Vehicle Safety (174 KB)

Climate Change

Transport is Australia’s third largest and second fastest growing source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The Australian Greenhouse Office (AGO 2006), for example, forecast that Australian transport emissions will grow by a huge 62% between 1990 and 2020, even with a range of emission-reducing measures in place. The Department of Climate Change has recently increased this growth rate projection from 62% to 67%.

The road transport sector makes up 88% of total transport emissions and its projected emissions increase from 1990 to 2020 is 64%.

The BIC believes increasing the modal share of public transport is a highly effective approach to reducing transport related greenhouse gas emissions.

The following key actions can be undertaken by Government to reduce transport emissions:

  1. Comprehensive road pricingclimate change
  2. Increased investment in public transport
  3. Major investment in walking and cycling
  4. More compact, walkable urban settlements
  5. Significantly improved fuel efficiency (mandatory targets)
  6. Invest in rail freight and intermodal hubs
  7. Freight efficiency improvement (e.g. more productive vehicles; changed delivery times)
  8. Reallocate road space to prioritise low emission modes
  9. Behaviour change programs

BIC believes that these are all quite feasible within the 2020 timeframe, provided we act quickly.


Read the BIC Submission to the Garnaut Review here

BIC Submission to Garnaut Review BIC Submission to Garnaut Review (1030 KB)


Carbon Markets and Public Transport

In releasing the Australian Government’s Clean Energy Future Plan Prime Minister Gillard likened the overall reductions in emissions under the scheme to “...the equivalent of taking 45 million cars off the road.”

This implies that some effort should be made within the framework of the carbon pricing system and through the revenue raised by carbon pricing to reduce car use and provide incentives for public transport use.

It is our belief the carbon emissions produced by buses, in the sense that they work towards reducing overall road transport emissions, should be recognised as “good” carbon and not penalised under a carbon pricing mechanism.

We believe buses should not be lumped in with trucks under the Clean Energy Future Plan.

The addition of a carbon price to the existing Road User Charge on fuel payed by bus operators will increase the cost of using public transport and/or impede the ability of State Governments to expand and improve public transport services by raising the operating costs of public transport systems.

Read the BIC Submission to the Clean Energy Draft Law here

BIC Submission to Clean Energy Law BIC Submission to Clean Energy Law (364 KB)

Emissions Reduction Fund

Update May 2014: The Coalition Government has begun the process of repealing the previous Government's Carbon Tax and Emissions Trading Scheme. As part of its Direct Action approach to Climate Change the new Government is developing an emissions reduction fund. Read more below.

The BIC has participated in the first stakeholder meeting regarding the Emissions Reduction Fund and are participating the Technical Working Group which will establish the emissions abatement value of transport related activities.

Through this process the BIC will be advocating for the recognition of buses as an “abatement positive” industry which reduces total emissions and for this abatement to be eligible for credits under the Fund.

The BIC responded to the call for submissions on the Emissions Reduction Fund and made the case for travel behavioural change and public transport to be given credits under the Fund in recognition of the role our industry and active and public transport plays in reducing transport related emissions.

Read the BIC Submission to the Emissions Reduction Fund Green Paper  

ERF_Green_Paper ERF_Green_Paper (382 KB)

Read the BIC Submission to the Emissions Reduction Fund Issues Paper

BIC Submission to Emissions Reduction Fund BIC Submission to Emissions Reduction Fund (348 KB)

Vehicle Mass

Since 1999 buses overall mass has increased and other circumstances have changed impacting on the legal mass of 2 axle buses.

The bus industry seeks an increase in mass limits to 18t GVM for two axle buses and equivalent increases for 3 and 4 axle buses, with no increase in passenger capacity to make these operations legal.  This issue is of major concern in the context of:

UPDATE: Victoria has announced a 2 tonne mass increase for 2 axle vehicles. The BIC supports this decision and calls for all states to adopt this standard along with a corresponding increase for 3 axle vehicles.

Read the full BIC position on Vehicle Mass here

BIC Submission GVM 2 Axle BIC Submission GVM 2 Axle (232 KB)


Performance Based Standards

Performance Based Standards (PBS) brings a different approach to vehicle regulation. It focuses on how the vehicle behaves on the road, rather than how big and heavy (length and mass) it is, through a set of safety and infrastructure protection standards. In other words, PBS governs what a vehicle can do, not what it should look like.

The BIC Believes PBS could provide real community and social benefits through innovative, high capacity passenger vehicles to address the challenges of urban congestion and reduced car usage, reduced road damage, peak oil, better utilization of existing road space, climate change, and increased public transport demand.

Up until now the uptake of PBS by the coach sector has been stifled because the parameters set are based on the freight industry and not the passenger sector.

The BIC sees the opportunity to expand the PBS Scheme by providing a separate PBS standard directly relating to buses and coaches.

Read the BIC PBS Proposal for 13.5m - 14.5m Steerable Tag Axle Buses

BIC Proposal Steerable Tag Axles BIC Proposal Steerable Tag Axles (206 KB)







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