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We need an urgent indaba on school transport

Industry news
Johannesburg – The South African National Civic Organisation (SANCO) has appealed to authorities to convene an urgent road safety indaba to come up with interventions to the scholar transport road carnage.

The plea follows a crash in which 16 preschool children were injured on Tuesday morning after their minibus taxi lost control and rolled several times along the Umgudulu Road in Reservoir Hills, Durban. It as the second major crash involving children in three days – on Friday 20 people, most of them schoolchildren, perished when their minibus taxi crashed and caught alight near Bronkhorstspruit.

Only one body was identified. DNA is being used to identify the rest of the charred remains. Eighteen of the deceased were schoolchildren. The driver and a school groundsman were the other two people killed in the horror crash.

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File picture: Matthews Baloyi / Independent Media.

“It cannot be business as usual when recklessness and speeding accounts for preventable premature deaths and injuries that are robbing parents of their children and the country of its future leaders who are an invaluable investment,” SANCO national spokesperson, Jabu Mahlangu, said in a statement on Tuesday.

Mahlangu said that the proposed indaba must also review the minimum years of driving experience for issuing of Public Driving Permit (PDP) and maximum years of applicants.

“Considering introduction of a compulsory defensive driving training for new PDP applicants, tougher measures such as stiffer fines and endorsement of suspension as well as cancellation of licenses and forfeiture of cars driven by speedsters and drunken drivers will contribute towards safer public transportation,” said Mahlangu.

Overloading, speeding, unroadworthy vehicles, unlicensed drivers and the disregard for road rules are some of the reasons for the high number of crashes involving minibus taxis.

African News Agency (ANA)

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