Centre for Road Safety

Our animations show how to stay safe on and around buses whether you're a driver, pedestrian, cyclist or passenger.

We all have a part to play

Be Bus Aware highlights the importance of bus safety for all road users. Buses are large, heavy vehicles and can’t stop quickly.

Bus Safety Week will run from Monday 18 to Sunday 24 February 2019 to raise awareness for all road users on how to stay safe on and around buses, helping to reduce injuries and fatalities.

Millions of trips

NSW has one of the largest metropolitan bus fleet in Australia. Almost 4000 buses operate in the Sydney area, while another 1000 buses service the Newcastle, Wollongong and Blue Mountains areas. In addition, more than 3000 bus services operate in rural and regional NSW.

From 2014 to 2018 (provisional), 34 people lost their lives in bus crashes across NSW and between June 2013 and June 2018 454 were seriously injured. Of these 34 fatalities, 14 were pedestrians, 11 were drivers (all in vehicles other than a bus), 6 were passengers (4 in buses, 2 in other vehicles), 2 were pedal cyclists and 1 was a motorcyclist.

Pedestrians

Pedestrians are our most vulnerable road users and make-up half of all fatalities from bus crashes in metropolitan areas. Bus Safety Week promotes safety for pedestrians, who should:

  • Plan ahead and don't rush for the bus
  • Obey traffic signals and cross with care
  • Avoid being distracted by mobile devices
  • Stand back from the kerb when waiting for a bus.
 

Adults always hold your child’s hand when crossing the road

School-aged children might seem independent, but they still need a hand. Remember:

  • Always meet your child AT school or the bus stop. NEVER wait on the opposite side of the road and call them across.
  • Always supervise your child and hold their hand when walking to and from the bus stop or interchange and when crossing the road until they are at least 10.
  • Wait until the bus has gone then use a safe place to cross the road.

Drivers

We know that because of their sheer size and mass, buses cause severe outcomes for other road users in crashes. Buses can't stop quickly and drivers should:

  • Give way to buses
  • Not merge too closely in front of buses
  • Keep a safe distance from buses in front of you
  • Slow down to 40 km/h when bus lights are flashing.

Bicycle riders

  • If you are overtaking a bus, avoid passing it when it is turning - buses can take up more than one lane when they turn
  • You may travel in a Bus Lane, Tram Lane, Transit Lane or Truck Lane but not in a Bus Only Lane
  • Follow the rules and ride with care.

Passengers

More than 20 percent of all seriously injured bus passengers are aged 70 years or over. If you are older, have a disability or are pregnant, try to sit closer to the front of the bus or in a courtesy seat and use the front doors, which can be lower and closer to the kerb. All bus passengers should:

  • Press the button well before your stop to give the driver plenty time to stop safely
  • Wait until the bus has stopped before you get out of your seat.

Bus safety for children

Bus safety for school students (PDF, 378Kb) has more information on how families can help  keep children safe getting on and off buses.

The Safety Town website has activities you can do with primary school children to help them keep safe on and around buses. There is also a section for families on driving safely around buses, and getting children to and from the bus stop safely.

Our Agent Walker: Operation Safe Transit bus safety video was produced for school students in years 5 and 6, who are starting to gain independence, and their teachers, parents and carers.

Working together

Our campaign has been developed with input from the State Transit Authority, Bus NSW, Roads and Maritime Services, and the NSW Police Force. The Department of Education, the Catholic Education Commission, the Association of Independent Schools and the Kids and Traffic Early Childhood Road Safety Education Program at Macquarie University also support Be Bus Aware and Bus Safety Week.