Three buses were grounded at the Dunkeld races on Saturday after operators were found to be being running vehicles without the necessary authorisation.
State independent regulator Bus Safety Victoria teamed up with Warrnambool and Hamilton highway patrol unit members and uniform officers to conduct a safety operation targeting buses bringing patrons to the annual meeting which attracted about 12,000 people.
Acting Director of Bus Safety Lisa Faldon said it was the third year a safety compliance operation had been held at the Dunkeld meeting.
"Dunkeld is one of many events our team attends around Victoria," she said, adding similar checks were also regularly conducted along the Great Ocean Road.
"We have a risk-based program of work that demonstrates our commitment to the safety of bus passengers throughout Victoria.
"Bus operators are coming to expect us at events such as the Dunkeld races. A direct positive result is the reduction in compliance issues detected."
Ms Faldon said BSV shifted focus each year and considered trends in bus safety incidents and issues across the state.
"This year we targeted operators without appropriate accreditation, in addition to enforcing the safety management system requirements," she said.
"Appropriate accreditation indicates required safety standards are being met.
"It is very pleasing that the majority of operators at this event were doing the right thing. We will be looking to catch people taking shortcuts with safety in the act and hold them accountable."
During the operation 21 buses were inspected by BSV and Victoria Police members.
Two operators were detected operating a commercial bus service and one with operating a non-commercial bus service without the required permission and they were subsequently grounded.
These operators were required to make alternative arrangements for the passengers to get home.
One driver was given a warning by police for not carrying a driver's licence and driver certification while driving a bus and two drivers were given a warning by police for not carrying driver's certification.
"Operators detected over the weekend operating outside the law will be followed up by BSV and further action taken," Ms Faldon said.
"BSV greatly appreciates the participation of Victoria Police in undertaking our compliance activities as it means that we can address a full range of bus safety related issues," she said.
In November last year, a suspended Melbourne bus company faced fines of almost $40,000 after one of its vehicles was intercepted at the Twelve Apostles and the driver drove off.
Ms Faldon said the company's bus was checked and its accreditation was found to be suspended following a successful prosecution.
"The company is a suspended operator. Despite being advised that the 49-seat bus was not permitted to operate, the driver left the scene," she said.
"We'll be having further interactions with the operator with a view to prosecuting this company again. Last time we prosecuted this operator they were fined $6000."
Ms Faldon the maximum fine for the offence of operating a commercial bus service without accreditation was 240 penalty units, a potential fine of $38,685.
At the Dunkeld races 35 buses were inspected with six found to be operating without the required accreditation.
Two buses were grounded, with those operators having to make other arrangements to get their passengers home.
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