More than 800 buses and taxis taken off the roads
22 Sep 2011
More than 800 un-roadworthy buses and taxis have been taken off South Africa’s roads over the past two weeks.
On 31 August 2011, Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele instructed law enforcement officers to stop and check every bus and taxi, following the deaths of at least 76 people last month (August 2011) in eight separate road crashes involving public transport vehicles (buses and mini-bus taxis).
In yet another horrific crash this morning (22 September), Limpopo transport officials reported at least six people killed, including five children, when the driver of the bus they were travelling in lost control and overturned on the road between WyllisPoort and Thohoyandou.
Minister Ndebele has conveyed condolences to the families of those killed. “We want to convey condolences to the families and relatives of those killed in yet another horrific bus crash in Limpopo this morning, which claimed the lives of at least six people, including five children. We wish the injured a speedy recovery. Our thoughts and prayers are with these families during these difficult moments,” said the Minister.
From 31 August to 18 September, 127,625 public transport vehicles were stopped and checked; 210 scholar transport vehicles, 210 buses, 395 mini-buses and 159 trucks discontinued from use; 27,908 fines issued for various public transport offences; more than 430 public transport drivers arrested including 67 for drunk driving, 20 for excessive speed, 13 for reckless and/or negligent driving, 50 in connection with public transport permits and 391 for overloading.
From October 2010 to August 2011, 12,984,120 vehicles and drivers were checked, 5,540,275 fines issued for various traffic offences, 18,527 drunk drivers arrested and 50,272 un-roadworthy vehicles (the majority of which are buses and taxis) discontinued from use, as part of the new National Rolling Enforcement Plan (NREP) announced by Minister Ndebele on 10 September 2010.
“As part of the NREP, we will continue to deploy traffic officials on strategic and critical routes to increase visibility as well as intensify enforcement on driver and vehicle fitness. We call on members of the public to partner with us and help us police areas that we cannot reach. Law enforcement officers cannot be everywhere at any given time, hence our call to the public to take responsibility and work with government in our efforts to eradicate the road carnage in our country. Citizens are encouraged to report those who disobey road rules to the national traffic hotline 0861 400 800. Working together, we will win the fight against road deaths,” Minister Ndebele said.
Meanwhile, Minister Ndebele will lead a South African delegation to the XXIV World Road Congress in Mexico City from 26 to 30 September. Key issues to be discussed at the congress include ideas and experiences in the framework of the United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020. Since the first World Road Congress held in Paris in 1908, PIARC organises every four years in a member country a World Road Congress with the aim to share techniques and experiences worldwide in the field of road infrastructures and road transport. The last World Road Congress was held in Paris (France) from 17 to 21 September 2007.
Issued by: Department of Transport
22 Sep 2011
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