Bus, taxi crackdown

2009-03-23 00:00

The upsurge in incidents involving unroadworthy public transport vehicles over the past few years has prompted the national Department of Transport and Road Traffic Management Corporation to take action.

A brake-testing unit, able to ascertain whether a vehicle is fit to be on the roads, has been used extensively since the department introduced it last December.

Said chief provincial inspector Colin Govender, "Don't be fooled by what a vehicle looks like on the outside. Just because the paint looks good doesn't mean it's fit to be on the road. With our new mobile brake-testing machine, we will be able to get an accurate reading of whether the vehicle in question is roadworthy or not."

With the Easter holidays looming, Govender says the department expects an increase in the use of public transport, especially buses. He says the initiative will target public transport and is aimed at ensuring vehicle and driver fitness and valid driver documentation.

"We want to send a strong message to public transport operators that if they or their vehicles don't meet the requirements, they won't be allowed to continue their journeys. We are doing this to save lives," said Govender.

Public transport vehicles will be tested all year round, and testing will be stepped up during holiday seasons.

When The Witness visited the testing grounds in Mkondeni yesterday afternoon, passengers of a Translux bus bound for Pretoria gave the initiative the thumbs-up.

"I use buses a lot and I would far rather they have to go the testing route than be involved in an accident later on," said Paula Miles, who boarded the bus in Durban.

Govender says that of 20 vehicles tested yesterday, six were deemed unroadworthy. A Translux bus, a Duzi Transport bus, a minibus taxi, two bakkies and a car were impounded.

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