School-bus blitz nets drunk driverComment on this story
Cape Town - Traffic officials checking school pupils’ transport on Wednesday arrested a drunk driver carrying children to school.
Siphesihle Dube, spokesman for Transport MEC Robin Carlisle, who headed the operation, said: “The concentration of alcohol in his breath was 0.41 percent, the limit being 0.24 percent.”
Traffic officials arrested another man for an outstanding warrant, impounded eight vehicles and opened 28 cases involving other offences.
Children who were forced to disembark from unroadworthy and impounded vehicles were given lifts to school by department officials.
The blitz took place on Keizersgracht, near the Holy Cross Primary School in Zonnebloem.
The route is regularly used by taxis in the early morning to take children from their homes on the Cape Flats to schools throughout the CBD.
Yet, the law enforcement line was spread thin when officials had to be diverted away from the main road block after some taxi drivers got wind of the operation and attempted to use alternative routes.
Carlisle said: “The situation with regard to scholar transport has seen some improvement since we began these operations a few years ago, but what we saw today remains unacceptable. Hundreds of young children are still being transported to and from school under very dangerous circumstances on a daily basis across the metro.”
It remained a perpetual battle for the department to ensure that children got to school safely, driven by qualified drivers, Carlisle said. It was important for parents to be in a position to vet the credentials of taxis and drivers which transported their children.
The Scholar Transport Operation has been seen a number of successes over the past two years. During 2012 and 2013, a total of 30 drivers were arrested and their vehicles were impounded. There were 1467 cases cited for various offences, ranging from overloading to faulty tyres and unfit vehicles.