48 000 buses checked in a week

2011-09-07 14:50

Cape Town - More than one in every five of the more than 48 000 buses used for the transport of schoolchildren was given notices or fines, while 210 were stopped from operating completely following a crackdown after last month's horrific crash that killed 14 pupils in Knysna.

Accidents involving South Africa's notoriously unsafe buses and minibus taxis claimed the lives of 62 other people in eight separate crashes throughout the country last month, prompting Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele to order law enforcement officials to begin stopping and checking them.

The department of transport said on Wednesday that from August 31 to September 5, some 48 420 vehicles transporting schoolchildren were stopped and checked. Of these, 210 were discontinued from use and 10 824 fines were issued.

In Gauteng last Friday, officers from the National Traffic Unit, Cross Border Road Transport Agency, Gauteng traffic police and South African police stopped and checked more than 2 100 vehicles, including more than 330 public transport vehicles.

A similar blitz was carried out in the Western Cape on the same day, where traffic officers were deployed in Hout Bay to pull over school buses and taxis.

The transport department said that as part of the new National Rolling Enforcement Plan (NREP), from October 1 2010 to 31 July 2011, 11 745 526 vehicles and drivers had been checked, 4 847 526 fines issued for various traffic offences, 17 758 drunken drivers arrested and 46 843 unroadworthy vehicles (the majority of which were buses and taxis) discontinued from use.

Ndebele said: "All public transport operators must ensure that their passengers are transported safely and reliably. Basic minimum quality standards must be in place to transport passengers in a safe, efficient and reliable manner. As part of this global decade of action for road safety 2011-2020, we call upon public transport operators to take responsibility for the safety of their commuters."

  • wishfulthinking - 2011-09-07 15:04

    By my reckoning, that's 4.76 buses a minute, working 24/7! Not bad going.

      Bill - 2011-09-07 19:21

      Incorrect....they tested one in five...!

  • MissGremlinSays - 2011-09-07 15:06

    Sigh. Yes they have issued fines. Will they be paid? Did they check that all the drivers have a current public drivers permit - re-issued each year after testing? Did they check for rollover protection on busses manufactured after a certain date? Did they actually know what to check for? Why are they not impounding the vehicles - or certainly those vehicles where there are serious defects? Sigh. Let the carnage continue unabated.

      Albo - 2011-09-07 16:06

      Agreed - In my 20min drive to work every morning, I can notice at LEAST 5 taxi`s that I`m amazed even manage to start up every morning.

  • Ruan - 2011-09-07 15:08

    ...hey, what about the drivers themselves- their digital tachograph cards which shows hours worked, hours rested, tachograph infringements- coach drivers in Europe get stopped and checked very often !! And then what about all the fake licences floating around.......

  • Bill - 2011-09-07 15:16

    That is 1,371 buses a day working 7 days a week....STOP LYING! Do they not consider the required logistical and manpower requirements to complete the above claimed exercise...! There is not the manpower or the inclination to do that many comprehensive bus checks in that given timeframe…! Why do we accept these thumb suck lies that come from these fools mouths…!

      Gore - 2011-09-07 15:24

      Stop a bus, greet the driver and wave it through. There, thats one bus checked. Why are u surprised - that how the register is kept!!

  • Beannie - 2011-09-07 15:39

    Make sure they check Putco

      Laetitia - 2011-09-15 12:32

      I agree, PLEASE CHECK THE PUTCO BUSSES! Just don't know what they'll do with all the faulty ones, but please take it off our roads!

  • Lonewolfman - 2011-09-07 15:42

    Regardless of colour and polotics, glad to see we are trying to protect innocent children who often get abused buy system. Good on those incharge doing a great job, please keep it up.

  • toleranne - 2011-09-07 15:45

    Fines and notices ... all very well. But are they going to follow them up? By whom? And how many operators are going to appeal, and tie things up in court endlessley? Scrapped vehicles should be demolished/crushed on the spot, to stop them from ever being "fixed up" and used again as murder machines. Why don't they institute a toll-free number where the public can report ramshackle & dangerous & smoking vehicles, and these reports MUST be noted in the registration record of the vehicle. Thus not only drivers, but also vehicles should have a recorded history, & demerit points. Otherwise what is the "wonderful" eNatis system for?

      ALISON - 2011-09-07 16:42

      i think that's a great idea, would love to be able to report the unsafe and recklessly driven buses and taxis I see everyday.

  • O-Kay - 2011-09-07 15:56

    Yeah right!!!! I saw them stopping bakkies and taxi's. They hauled everyone off or out of the vehicle, stood laughing and talking and then everyone got back in or on the vehicle, and laughingly waved goodbye to the traffic cop, and off they went. Even the overloaded ones!!!

  • George Adams - 2011-09-07 16:00

    SA should implement an MOT system similar to what they have in the UK. It will force people to service their cars at least once per year. The government will also make extra money from it which they can spend to buy more expensive cars for Malema. Who can I write to with this idea?

  • Ruan - 2011-09-07 16:02

    ...all large PSV'S (PUBLIC SERVICE VEHICLES)should be installed with the digital tachograph system and their drivers be issued with a digital drivers' card- that will go a long way to rid the industry of rogue operators and will in turn get the public to make use of public transport-[ now there's one for our dear minister of transport !!

  • Showerhead - 2011-09-07 16:34

    How do you check a bus or for that matter a vehicle thoroughly for roadworthy in a short space of time. My guest it is a visual check that is meaningless when it comes to brakes, shocks suspensions ect. Who fools who!

  • Vyonne Davids - 2011-09-07 16:40

    why cant they do this with taxi's!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Its only because those people died

      Lonewolfman - 2011-09-07 17:06

      No they get lots of money and violent abuse from taxi orginisations not to mention some metro officers are taxi bosses. but above this has been needed for long time next get ride of death trap cars we see every day causing accidents while driver just says eiesh have no licence and insurance.

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