Bus operators had a valid licence

2013-03-19 14:28

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Cape Town –  A preliminary investigation into the bus that crashed on the Hex River Valley Pass on Friday – claiming the lives of 24 people - has shown that the company had a valid operating licence.

Transport and Public Works MEC Robin Carlisle had said the initial investigation had flagged certification issues, after they queried the operating licence, driver’s licence, the vehicle’s roadworthiness and the safety history of the company.

But on Monday Carlisle admitted that upon close inspection the company’s operating licence was valid.

Previously, it had been believed by authorities that the licence had been issued on 25 December  - a day which the Provincial Regulatory Entity’s office was closed - but this turned out to be a clerical error.

Carlisle did confirm, however, that the bus’s roadworthy certificate had expired two weeks prior to the crash.

Atlantic Charters and Tours did not dispute this fact, but they said the bus had undergone stringent testing at the Joe Qgabi Bus Interchange at Philippi.

“In December 2012, during the festive season, it was compulsory for every vehicle to be roadworthy and inspected thoroughly every day before departure. This particular bus in question went through full roadworthy testing about every third day during the [festive season],” the bus company’s spokesperson Aneeqah Salie told the Cape Argus.

She added that on the day of the crash, just four hours before the accident, the bus was stopped in Beaufort West by traffic officials and taken to the provincial testing station.

However, Carlisle said the tests conducted by the provincial traffic police in no way constituted the requirements for a road certificate.

“Nor does it relieve the obligation to have a roadworthy certificate.”

The cause of the crash is still under investigation, with brake failure suspected as a possible cause.

Carlisle warned that if mechanical failure was behind the incident, the lack of a roadworthy certificate could have serious consequences.

Read more on:    robin carlisle  |  cape town  |  accidents
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