Drivers of vehicles transporting goods on public roads to generate income may be required to complete safety modules before they’re allowed on certain Durban routes.
The head of the eThekwini Transport Authority said on Tuesday driver training was vital in helping to reduce the number of crashes involving trucks on the province’s roads.
In the wake of last week’s horror Fields Hill crash that claimed 22 lives, the ETA said it would be submitting a report by Friday on what the municipality could do to prevent further road carnage.
ETA head Thami Manyathi told a council executive committee meeting: “We are looking at having modules that each public transport driver will have to complete before being able to drive around the city” .
“We will also be looking at things such as driver fitness.”
He said new facilities would be set up for the requisite training and testing.
“I have my team working on a report and we will have it ready by Friday,” Manyathi said.
Last Thursday 22 people died and more than 30 were injured when an articulated truck that had apparently lost the use of its brakes ploughed into four taxis and a car at the base of Fields Hill, off the M13.
On Monday the driver of the truck, 23-year-old Sanele Goodness May from Swaziland, was charged in the Pinetown Magistrate’s Court with murder after initially facing charges of culpable homicide.
May is expected back in court on 18 September for a bail application.
Mayor James Nxumalo said yesterday the city should look at introducing ordinances to ban trucks from using the M13 altogether.
“The main issue is to ban those trucks,” he said. “The drivers get allowances to pay for tollgates, but they choose to use the M13 so that they keep the money.”
“If this was the reason in this case, look at what has happened.”
Nxumalo said he used the route almost daily and noticed that metro police stopped heavy trucks early in the morning and only allowed them to continue after 8am.
“We really need to improve our patrols in that area. In fact trucks should not be allowed. We need to ban them totally, learning from this incident,” he said.
The mayor said the national department of transport should also impose age restrictions on truck drivers.
“South Africa is in mourning because of one person, a 23-year-old who was driving such a big truck,” he said.
“It really is a painful story because losing one person who is the breadwinner means the whole family suffers.”
Nxumalo also proposed that a monument be erected in memory of those who died in the crash.
Although funeral arrangements were still being made, he said the plan was to hold a mass funeral on Saturday at the KwaNdengezi sports ground.
However, another funeral service could be held on Sunday to cater for families with different cultural beliefs. - Daily News