Bus inspection failure levels reducing in Sweden

Approximately one in four large buses submitted for annual inspection in Sweden fail the test, an improvement on recent years.

Bilprovningen inspection technicianDespite recent years showing a positive development in the continuing roadworthiness of large buses in Sweden, vehicle inspection organisation Bilprovningen is reporting that the inspection failure rate of such vehicles is still high at 38% or almost one in four.

According to Swedish law, all buses weighing more than 3.5 tonnes must undergo an annual technical and safety inspection from their first anniversary in service.

During 2014, Bilprovningen inspected a total of more than 6000 large buses, with 38% of them failing, a figure similar to 2013 but lower than 2012 (41%) and 2011 (44%).

Commenting on the recent improvements in failure rates, Bilprovningen’s CEO, Benny Örner Fors told us, “The improvements in vehicles being presented for inspection are most likely as a result of the change in the way the bus industry and PSV operators are working. We see this as a very positive improvement.”

Of those failing, the main problems related mainly to braking and fire risk. 14% of buses inspected had problems with the braking systems and 13% exhibited a fire risk hazard, mainly due to engine oil leaks. All vehicles failing are given the opportunity to undergo repairs and be submitted for re-inspection. Bilprovningen reports that 12% of buses submitted for re-inspection failed a second time.

According to Morgan Isacsson of Bilprovningen, the fire risks being seen on buses has increased in recent years despite the overall reduction in failure rate. Commenting on this trend, Morgan said, “This is an area where the bus companies and bus industry can do more, both for passenger safety and to save the considerable costs as a bus fire.”

There are regional variations throughout the country in failure rates with the Jämtland region showing a the highest levels of failures at 70% and Västra Götaland County exhibiting the best record with only 23% of its buses being failed during testing.

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