An­other 7 se­ri­ously de­fec­tive buses pulled off road

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - LEILA SAMODIEN

AS THOU­SANDS of peo­ple headed home at the end of the hol­i­days, a fur­ther seven un­road­wor­thy longdis­tance buses were pulled off the road near Ge­orge yes­ter­day, and Trans­port MEC Robin Carlisle has vowed to crim­i­nally charge the own­ers.

Com­mu­nity Safety MEC Len­nit Max said the buses were stopped at a road­block on the N2 and found to have a num­ber of se­ri­ous de­fects, in­clud­ing faulty steer­ing, de­fec­tive brakes and smooth tyres. The buses were be­lieved to be bring­ing peo­ple back to Cape Town from the East­ern Cape at the end of the hol­i­days.

An eighth bus, be­lieved to be­long to the Uni­ver­sity of Jo­han­nes­burg and trans­port­ing stu­dents, was also taken off the road.

Four of the buses be­longed to City to City, a lux­ury coach op­er­a­tor be­long­ing to Au­topax Passenger Ser­vices, while three were In­ter­cape buses.

The road­block, set up by Ge­orge’s traf­fic depart­ment and the pro­vin­cial traf­fic depart­ment, was part of the Safely Home cam­paign – a project to en­sure the safe jour­ney of peo­ple us­ing long-dis­tance buses and taxis over the hol­i­day pe­riod.

“Buses trans­port a lot of peo­ple at a time,” said Max. “If some­thing goes wrong be­cause a bus is un­road­wor­thy, it puts a lot of lives at risk.”

The lat­est clam­p­down comes amid an up­roar over danger­ous buses, with Carlisle and at least one trade union call­ing for harsh action to be taken against bus op­er­a­tors who run un­road­wor­thy ve­hi­cles.

On Tues­day he is set to meet the Na­tional Pros­e­cut­ing Au­thor­ity to dis­cuss the is­sue of bring­ing crim­i­nal charges against bus com­pa­nies and their own­ers.

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