Traffic blitz follows high number of commuter deaths

Friday, September 9, 2011
Thando Cezula

East London - Eight public transport vehicles inspected by traffic officers in the Eastern Cape this week were in such poor condition that they were impounded on the spot and towed away.

Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) spokesperson, Ashref Ismail, said the eight vehicles were spotted during a province-wide crackdown on unroadworthy public transport that saw 15 000 vehicles being stopped and inspected since Monday.

"These vehicles had their discs removed and were impounded. In order for the owners to get the vehicles back on the road, they will have to undergo extensive repairs, after which they will be re-tested," said Ismail on Thursday.

Instructions for the large-scale operation came from Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele following the deaths of 76 people on the country's roads last month.

"All public transport operators must ensure that their passengers are transported safely and reliably. Basic minimum quality standards must be in place first," said Ndebele in a statement, calling on public transport operators to take responsibility for the safety of their commuters.

Ismail said the situation in the Eastern Cape warranted a large intervention because of the high number of road accident fatalities that occurred in the province last month. 

"This province has been rocked by a series of road accidents that claimed the lives of a number of commuters. This situation warranted an aggressive intervention from our side, hence the high number of public vehicles stopped and checked," said Ismail.

Nearly 4 600 vehicles were issued with traffic fines for minor offences, including included broken lights, shattered windscreens, unpaid fines and smooth tyres. - BuaNews

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