Officials probe Roadlink bus crash

2012-05-16 21:51

Bloemfontein - A special investigation has been launched into the SA Roadlink bus accident in the Free State in which five people were killed, the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) said on Wednesday.

It wanted to find out when last the bus was inspected for roadworthiness, whether a relief driver was on board and what rest stops were taken along the route, it said.

The five passengers were killed when the bus overturned on the N1, while travelling towards Bloemfontein at 04:45 on Wednesday, the Free State transport department said.

Spokesperson Zolile Walaza said the accident happened about 30km from Gariep Dam, towards Springfontein on the N1. The bus was carrying 28 passengers.

Free State police spokesperson Captain Harry Nagel said the bus overturned when the driver apparently swerved to avoid a wild animal.

Two people were trapped in the wreckage and had to be freed. They were taken to a hospital in Bloemfontein.

Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele conveyed his condolences to the families of those killed.

He said the police, the RTMC and an independent team of accident investigation and reconstruction specialists had started investigating the crash.

Road Accident Fund officials were helping the families.

Ndebele said in the past four months, more than 17 343 unroadworthy vehicles, mostly buses and taxis, had been discontinued from use as part of the new national rolling enforcement plan.

The RTMC said the investigation into the bus accident would include the driver’s track record and the offence record of the company, in proportion to the number of buses in the fleet.

RTMC chief executive Collins Letsoalo asked all provincial and metropolitan traffic police departments to provide evidence of Roadlink buses which had been discontinued, impounded or involved in crashes in the past five years.

The intention was to determine the safety record of the bus company and take appropriate action where necessary.

"We cannot allow our vulnerable, paying road users to be held at ransom by operators whose safety record was wanting," said Letsoalo.

The public should report any unsafe incidences they had experienced while using Roadlink or any other bus company.

Letsoalo said the traffic authorities would continue to check all long distance and luxury coaches at weighbridges, tollgates, bus depots and train stations.

The police were also investigating a case of culpable homicide.

  • neoviolet - 2012-05-16 22:22

    I think sa roadlink jst painted da buses green and claimed 2 hv new buses!it ws all a cover up!its stil dangerous 2 ride dem!bheki cele called dem coffins on wheels!

  • imoilwa1 - 2012-05-16 22:45

    The drivers must rest n also be relievd at different towns!its our Lives

  • Dave - 2012-05-16 22:45

    The authorities should not allow long distance buses to depart the terminus without a basic roadworthy check.

  • Shaka - 2012-05-17 21:51

    Saw cattle in the road in that area on Tuesday night. Perhaps this time it was not Roadlink after all.

  • Ruan - 2012-05-19 02:14 lads...READ THE FOLLOWING- Maximun period of driving without a break- 4,5 hours Daily driving time- maximum of 9 hours, which may be extended to 10 hours but no more than twice a week. Weekly/ Fortnightly driving- Maximum of 56 hours in one week but a total of 90 hours over a fortnight. Now to breaks.... After a driving period of 4,5 hours, you must take a break of at least 45 minutes (unless you take a rest period). This break can be divided into 2 parts- the first at least 15 minutes long and the second at least 30 minutes- and taken during the 4,5- hour driving period.

      Ruan - 2012-05-19 02:20

      WORKING TIME DRIVING LIMITS... Average weekly driving time- 48 hours calculated over 17 weeks (or up to 26 weeks if agreed). Maximum weekly working time- 60 hrs in a single week- average of 48 hrs must be maintained Night work- 10 hours in each 24-hour period.

      Ruan - 2012-05-19 02:25

      Definitely driver- 04h45....driver-fatigue....your body "shuts-down" between 00h00 and has been proven over and over again !!

      Ruan - 2012-05-19 02:30

      ....and WATCH those drivers....remember 4-and-a-half hours of continuous driving....BREAK TIME !!

  • Ruan - 2012-05-20 12:42 investigation by "corrupt officials"- nothing will happen to this company and they will keep their operators' licence....

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