Buttskop level crossing no safer

2012-02-21 14:31

Cape Town - Safety has not improved at a Western Cape railway crossing where 10 children were killed in a 2010 crash, the Western Cape High Court heard on Tuesday.

Judge Robert Henney said it was shocking that instances of damage to booms of the Buttskop level railway crossing in Blackheath, Cape Town, had increased in the last year.

"What are you guys doing wrong? Why hasn't it stopped? What are you people doing to curb this?" he asked provincial road safety programme director David Frost.

Frost testified that 64 instances of damage were reported for 2011 compared with 43 in 2010.

The accident involving taxi driver Jacob Humphreys that led to the death of the 10 children was the only one in which lives were lost, he said.

While taking children to school on August 25 2010, Humphreys overtook a row of cars at the Buttskop level crossing, ignored safety signals and drove over the tracks.

A train hit the taxi and 10 of the children were killed. Four others were seriously injured.

Henney said it appeared that policing at the spot was not up to standard.

"Would this have occurred if there was effective policing? You can have all these nice plans in place but 64 incidents happened."

Frost said everything possible was being done to curb road accidents.

Henney asked Frost what type of message he would like to send out through Humphreys' sentence.

"Where there is wanton disregard and recklessness for the rules of the road... severe punishment needs to be meted out," Frost replied.

Humphreys listened attentively during proceedings.

He seemed in good spirits, having greeted his family as he entered the courtroom.

  • Leon - 2012-02-21 14:36

    "He seemed in good spirits, having greeted his family as he entered the courtroom." Maybe he had some good spirits inside him when he ignored the boom.

  • Marion - 2012-02-21 14:37

    How many more need to die before the authorities take action? In addition to the booms they should put spikes in the road that activate at the same time as the booms so that anyone jumping the boom gets four flat tyres.

      Gerhard - 2012-02-21 14:41

      Great idea but the spikes will stop working after a month. Then a task team will be appointed to investigate why the spikes failed. The report and recommendation will then be submitted to government to apply their mind for four months and it will take another four months to have them repaired after they realised that the contractor appointed was not suitably qualified and has subsequently liquidated and moved to Limpopo and changed his name.

      Poloyatonki - 2012-02-21 14:43

      Maybe people of the western cape must change their vote nextime.

      Peter - 2012-02-21 14:47

      and with 4 flat tyres, stops PERFECTLY in front of the train?

      John - 2012-02-21 15:12

      V4 and V3 Military Barricades on the sides of the road Anyway we are looking like a war zone

      Terry-Lee Heuer - 2012-02-21 15:13

      @Gerhard LOL!!

      Marion - 2012-02-21 15:16

      Okay, so erect two booms... anyone jumping the first boom gets flat tyres and stops perfectly before the second boom... I have seen the effects of a train crossing a level crossing taking out a vehicle and something seriously needs to be done to stop irresponsible individuals from being able to risk others lives. If there are sufficient warning signs NO ONE should get four flat tyres. But I agree with Gerhard's comment...

      bernpm - 2012-02-21 15:33

      Keep in mind (1)that railway crossings are usually the responsibility of the railway (Transnet) and not a municipality. (2) protection against idiotic behaviour is sheer impossible

      Peter - 2012-02-21 15:39

      or, those boomgate ground poles that come out of the ground. There is NO WAY around that AND it does damage to wrong-doers

      wesleywt - 2012-02-21 15:58

      You can't stop the stupid from killing themselves (and others unfortunately).

  • Gigo - 2012-02-21 14:40

    Eish Western Cape again?This province is really unorganized.

      Gerhard - 2012-02-21 14:54

      LOL!! I do not share the same views as Sganja about his beloved ANC but you have to admit, that was quite sharp!!

      NrGx - 2012-02-21 14:57

      thats really narrow minded comment. Unorganized because of 1 idiot who cannot follow traffic laws and regulations. I THINK NOT! But then again, I should know by now that you would take any opportunity to slate the best run municipality in the country, the DA leader who won an international award. hamba with those racist tendencies!

      Poloyatonki - 2012-02-21 14:59

      Sganja in Tableview municipal guys comes and takes photos of potholes and then leave.

      Gigo - 2012-02-21 15:04

      @Gerhard I always speak sense thank you for realizing today. @NrGx read Poloyatonki's comment @Poloyatonki this indicate that the province is under the wrong people who talk too much without action.

      Ze Don - 2012-02-21 15:05

      @polly: Seeing as you're in the area, why don't you go regulate the traffic at the crossing? Just remember that you must stand on the tracks & cars have right of way.

      Privaat - 2012-02-21 15:14

      Oh is that why people from the Eastern Cape stream in here for medical treatment? Roads in the Western Cape are better than anywhere else in South Africa. If you don't like is here p!ss off to someplace like Limpopo where there's no food in the Hospitals - Idiot

      bernpm - 2012-02-21 15:34

      Keep in mind (1)that railway crossings are usually the responsibility of the railway (Transnet = national) and not a municipality. (2) protection against idiotic behaviour is sheer impossible

      Justan - 2012-02-21 15:53

      @Sganja, I'm sure you say these things just to get a reaction from people because no one can be as ignorant and blind as you. You want to talk about unorganized, why don’t you look at how well cANCer is doing in Limpopo or every other province they have spread through. You are talking about an international award winning province here. Look at what your cANCer has done before you even begin to slate the WC. @Poloyatonki, if pot holes are your greatest concern here then I say well done DA and WC for this being our biggest issue here, instead of badly run municipalities and bad service delivery like the rest of the suffering provinces.

  • wesleywt - 2012-02-21 14:43

    You can do what you like, but you can't stop a moron from jumping a red light and circumventing a boom gate. It is time people start taking responsibility for their own actions.

      Ze Don - 2012-02-21 14:54

      That's the truth, plain & simple!

  • Charlene Esbach - 2012-02-21 14:50

    I live just down the road and only twice have I seen traffic officials at the booms. Drivers are still cutting across the booms even when the train is visible! Why not have the booms run the full length of the level crossing? that way no one can cut across from either side.

      jensuffhaus - 2012-02-21 15:00

      What if you just miss the first boom and then get blocked off by the second? Then you will be boxed in on the tracks. The boom is there to stop you from getting ON to the track, but nothing should ever prevent you from getting OFF the tracks.

  • Thando - 2012-02-21 14:52

    Humphrey is a murderer full stop. You were reckless on that day; may be it is because your kids were not in the vehicle with you.

      Gigo - 2012-02-21 15:09

      "may be it is because your kids were not in the vehicle with you." I don't understand you madam

      Marion - 2012-02-21 15:35

      @Sganja - what Thando is saying is that he wouldn't have been so reckless (maybe) if his own kids had been in that vehicle and not just a bunch of kids not related to him. But there are many people who do dangerous and irresponsible things even when their own loved ones are in the car.

  • Dennis - 2012-02-21 14:53

    For goodness sake, IT IS A LEVEL CROSSING !! Booms down means train approaching NOT LETS TAKE A CHANCE !!!!!!!!!!!

  • John - 2012-02-21 15:19

    Jacob Humphreys has a 'nice smile' according to the video report. We need to give im a chance for another 'blackout' moment and 60+ seater buss next time. Burn him!

  • E=MC2 - 2012-02-21 15:24

    "What are you guys doing wrong?" - giving stupid people licences "Why hasn't it stopped?" - corruption

  • qmglover - 2012-02-21 16:19

    the only thing that needs to be done is that metro rail should fit both sides of the road booms like closing it with two booms on the one side and two booms on the other side which mean you cant jump the booms...cause closing half the road means there are still have the road open to jump it if you in the mood or in a hurry!!!

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