Bus drivers' union wants Government Mitsubishi Fuso probe to go further

A fuso that crashed on Mt Ruapehu.
A fuso that crashed on Mt Ruapehu. Photo credit: Newshub.

A bus drivers' union has reservations about a probe into the industry.

The Government has asked Transport Agency and Ministry of Transport officials to look into three recent bus crashes involving Mitsubishi Fusos -  one on State Highway 1 near Manawatu, one at Mt Ruapehu and another on SH3 in Taranaki.

Hannah Francis, 11, was killed in the crash on Mt Ruapehu and Alan Campbell, 69, died following the crash on SH3. Nineteen people were injured in the crash on SH1.

"I have asked the Ministry of Transport and the NZTA to look at these three incidents and first tell me whether or not the certificate of fitness testing has been implemented with sufficient rigour," said Transport Minister Phil Twyford.

"And secondly I want them to look at all three cases and see if any common elements can be learnt from them."

But First Union says an inquiry needs to look at the entire sector, including driving conditions.

"I can tell you right now the common elements are bus companies that cut corners and are not willing to upgrade buses at the expense of drivers' and passengers' safety," said transport organiser Emir Hodzic.

"These are also commonly the companies that underpay drivers and expect them to drive for far too long."