Fire takes Victorian booze buses off road

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Victoria's booze buses could be off the road until the end of May as police investigate how one of them caught fire.

It comes after the state's worst Easter road toll in 14 years.

One of the 10 Victoria Police RBT buses was damaged by fire on Sunday at suburban Lilydale.

The four large buses and six smaller vehicles in the police fleet will be checked, Acting Assistant Commissioner John Fitzpatrick said.

"Until we find what caused the fire in the bus at Lilydale on Sunday, we won't be deploying any buses into the community," he told 3AW.

"We're not completely sure of the cause of that fire."

While Mr Fitzpatrick said taking the fleet off the road is "not the optimum", he said police would continue to test for alcohol and drugs.

"We don't believe we'll lose a great deal of capacity," he said.

"The presence will be there, but that big, bounding bus that has that visual presence won't be there until we sort out what the cause of the fire was.

"I would certainly hope that by the end of next month, we have all of those booze buses back in operation."

The damaged bus was one of the smaller vehicles.

Mr Fitzpatrick said all the Victoria Police booze buses were built in Melbourne and each large bus had six personnel who would be redeployed into three cars.

Five people died on Victorian roads over Easter, while 270 drivers tested positive for drugs and 300 went over the alcohol limit.

Victoria's booze buses were also taken off the road for much of last year during the height of the coronavirus pandemic because of infection concerns.

The opposition said there are "serious questions", saying the rest of the booze bus fleet stayed in service over Easter after the fire.

"After years of delays, cost blowouts and safety faults, it's clear Labor's state-of-the-art booze buses are in state of disrepair," opposition police spokesman David Southwick said.

"(Premier) Daniel Andrews must come clean as to why these dangerous buses were kept on the road over the long weekend, a decision which placed the safety of frontline officers and the community at risk.

"The Victorian community deserves answers as to how this program has gone so wrong."