Unscrupulous public passenger transport operators causing death of innocent passengers
23 Aug 2011The recent death of nine passengers in a horror crash on the N3 has again brought into sharp focus the lack of "safety morals" in the public passenger transport industry. It is almost a common feature of particularly weekend, and after hours travel that buses and/or minibuses are involved in fatal crashes around the country.
The Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) is calling for the law to be amended to deal harshly with drivers, operators and passengers who flout the law and endanger the lives of road users.
As part of the National Rolling Enforcement Plan (NREP) thousands of public passenger transport vehicles such as commuter buses, long distance coaches, learner transport vehicles and minibuses have been prosecuted and in serious cases, discontinued from service.
"In spite of increased enforcement focusing on public transport vehicles, it is clear that many unscrupulous operators and drivers will risk the lives of vulnerable passengers in order to make a fast buck. This reckless and negligent attitude must stop," said Mr Collins Letsoalo, Acting CEO of the RTMC.
The RTMC, together with its provincial and municipal traffic authorities is considering the following actions to reduce public passenger transport casualties:
- Legislation be amended to allow the operator cards of an entire fleet to be suspended should it be found that the driver or operator was not operating within the law.
- Appealing to the National Prosecutions Authority (NPA) to charge public passenger transport drivers/operators with murder when crashes caused as a result of reckless or negligent driving results in fatalities.
- Requesting the provincial MECs to allow traffic officials to inspect buses in their depots and yards.
- Conducting regular, unannounced inspections at vehicle testing stations and charge corrupt officials who are compromising the safety of commuters.
- Manning regular enforcement operations to ensure roadworthiness of the vehicle and the driver.
- Requesting the withdrawal of bus subsidies if it can be proven that certain operators are habitually breaking the law.
- Requesting traffic chiefs to submit a full report on every fatal public passenger transport crash occurring in their jurisdiction.
- Conducting special investigations on major fatal crashes involving buses and minibuses.
- Re-testing all vehicles belonging to a company where it is proven that the vehicles defects led to the crash.
- Facilitating driver education classes for companies whose drivers were involved in fatal crashes.
- Encouraging companies to regulate the driving hours of their personnel.
- Engaging the taxi, bus and coach associations to find sustainable solutions to reducingpublic passenger transport casualties.
- Naming and shaming habitual offenders.
- Empowering passengers to make safe choices when choosing public transport vehicles.
Road users are encouraged to report bad operators on 0861 400 800. For further information, please contact:
Cell: 071 680 3448
Issued by: Road Traffic Management Corporation
23 Aug 2011
[ Top ]