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Tuesday 28 November 2023 Dublin: 1°C
bus that wouldn't slow down

More than half the buses tested on Irish roads have been deemed unsafe

More than a third of the buses tested had ‘major or dangerous defects’.

90300843_90300843 Sam Boal / File Photo Sam Boal / /

MORE THAN HALF the buses on Irish roads facing safety inspections have failed, according to new figures from the Road Safety Authority (RSA).

Even more worryingly, more than a third of those buses were deemed to have had ‘major or dangerous defects’.

The figures, obtained by RTÉ’s This Week, suggest that of 873 bus inspections in the 12 months up to June 2018 445 failed to comply with safety standards, 268 were found to have major defects, and 37 had dangerous defects.

It’s believed that the vehicles inspected include school buses and private operator coaches.

RTÉ Radio 1 / SoundCloud

State-sponsored Bus Éireann uses private hire coaches on many of its routes daily where its own stock of coaches may be insufficient to satisfy timetables.

If a dangerous defect is noted, the bus is immediately taken off the road.

It’s understood that the RSA employs a targeted approach to such testing aimed at those operators suspected of operating substandard vehicles, meaning that the high level of the statistics seen may not be representative of the standard of the national fleet.

10/11/2015 Road Safety Authority Campaigns Liz O'Donnell

Fianna Fáil Transport spokesperson Robert Troy says he has written to Minister Shane Ross asking for clarification that all buses under Bus Éireann’s remit are operating to adequate safety standards, and also asking why the RSA isn’t “prosecuting contractors that are known to be breaking the law”.

Separately, the programmed revealed that RSA chairperson Liz O’Donnell had written to Bus Éireann in July of 2017 to raise concerns as to the roadworthiness of Ireland’s school buses being run by the operator.

In that letter, O’Donnell said that, in spite of progress being made, “our findings at the roadside to date show little in terms of improvements”.

It was also revealed that the RSA had refused to share its ‘risk index’ for pinpointing the highest-risk operators in the country as the Authority had no ‘legal basis’ for doing so.

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