Cops target trucks in M13 roadblock

2013-10-04 00:00

TRUCK drivers, stopped by traffic cops who found various defects on their vehicles at a roadblock on the M13 yesterday, confessed to using the road to avoid toll fees and the RTI.

KZN Community Safety, Transport and Liaison MEC Willies Mchunu and a team of officers from the Road Transport Inspectorate (RTI), the SAPS and Metro police, manned a roadblock on Fields Hill on the M13 in Pinetown to mark the beginning of Transport Month yesterday.

Mchunu said his department will be targeting trucks especially on Fields Hill. Last month a truck crashed into four fully loaded minibus taxis and a light motor vehicle, killing 23 people there.

More recently two people were killed on the road when a truck crashed into a minibus taxi.

Yesterday 518 vehicles, including trucks, buses and taxis, were pulled over.

Of the 120 trucks, eight were impounded for various defects.

“All the drivers I have spoken to said they were not provided with toll fees by their employers so they get onto the M13 to avoid paying from their own pockets,” he said.

The MEC said to prevent road carnage, his department was also re-launching “Operation Phezukwabo”.

“We will be targeting trucks with defects. Faulty brakes and other defects are the cause of deaths especially on this road.”

On the call from different groups to ban trucks on the road, Mchunu said he was interacting with the Ethekwini Municipality, business people in the Pinetown area and other role players to get views on the matter.

Truck driver Mlungisi Dlamini confirmed that some drivers were using the M13 to avoid police. “It’s so unfortunate that if one truck is found to be unroadworthy, all of us truck drivers are painted with the same brush.

“If more of these roadblocks were conducted to check the state of the trucks, the bad guys would be dealt with,” he said.

Ironically, Dlamini was pulled off and fined R900 for three worn-out tyres. He was driving from Pietermaritzburg to Phoenix.

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