Confirmation by Victoria Police that 6 key booze buses remain off the road and out of action is the latest failure on road safety by the Andrews Labor Government.
In March 2018, Police Minister Lisa Neville boasted that 10 new “state-of-the-art” booze buses had hit the road in time for the busy Easter period, yet within months 6 of the 10 new buses were taken off the road due to mechanical and safety faults.
Despite being sidelined for more than 19 months and having paid $320,000 to two engineering firms to find out what is wrong with the fleet, the vehicles remain unrepaired and without a confirmed date for their return to service.
The ongoing sidelining of these booze buses come as Victoria Police face additional COVID-19 measures requiring cleaning and equipment changes between drug and alcohol checks – meaning fewer tests form fewer buses over coming months.
The failure to get these booze backs back on the road follows a tragic additional 34 lives lost on regional and rural roads in 2019, a 25 per cent increase on the year prior and dangerous driving offences increasing 178 per cent in Ballarat for the year ending June 2020.
With Ballarat now moving out of lockdown and into the busy Christmas period, Daniel Andrews botched booze buses are yet again placing the safety of road users and regional Victorians at risk.
Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Police and Community Safety, David Southwick:
“Today we see a double-whammy on road safety, with fewer booze buses on the road and COVID measures restriction the number of drug and alcohol tests that can be conducted.
“This will now be the second Christmas in a row where the majority of Dan’s dodgy booze buses have been out of action, just when the Ballarat community and our frontline police need them the most.
“It just beggars belief that after more than 18 months and a $320,000 quote to find out what wrong with these vehicles, we still don’t have a fix or date when they’ll be back.”
Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Road Safety and the TAC, Brad Battin:
“This summer is set to be an extraordinarily busy time on our roads as many families seek a regional getaway, yet Daniel Andrews failure has placed road users and regional communities in harm’s way.
“Despite the reduced movement during COVID-19, tragically 188 Victorians have still lost their lives on our roads this year and coming out of lockdown into the high-risk Christmas period, Victorians deserve better than more of Labor’s delays, excuses and cost blow outs.”