...Sanco calls for ac­tion against truck driver af­ter deadly train crash

Observer on Saturday - - News -

CAPE TOWN - The South African Na­tional Civic Or­gan­i­sa­tion (SANCO) has ex­pressed its sad­ness at the‘ shock­ing deaths’ in Thurs­day morn­ing’ s col­li­sion train ac­ci­dent in Kroonstad which claimed the lives of at least 18 peo­ple.

The ac­ci­dent oc­curred at the Geneva level cross­ing be­tween Hen­nen­man and Kroonstad. The train had been trav­el­ling from Port El­iz­a­beth to Jo­han­nes­burg.

“Rail level cross­ings col­li­sions re­flect fa­tal statis­tics which point to a cri­sis and by their nature re­quire dras­tic ac­tion, and the rais­ing of the col­lec­tive con­scious­ness of the great­est num­ber of peo­ple pos­si­ble,” said SAN CO spokesper­son Jabu Mahlangu.

Mahlangu con­veyed con­do­lences to the fam­i­lies of those who lost their lives in the crash.

He ex­pressed con­cern that al­most all level cross­ing ac­ci­dents were as a re­sult of mo­torists fail­ing to stop at clearly de­mar­cated stop signs at level cross­ings.

“Trains take more time to stop, even when the driver ap­plies brakes. A loaded train can take more than a kilo­me­tre to stop,” he pointed out.

Mahlangu said that global po­lice figures show that up to 95 per cent of crashes at rail­way cross­ings are caused by driver er­ror which is largely at­trib­ut­able to driver dis­trac­tion, risk-tak­ing, dis­obey­ing and a lack of knowl­edge of the road rules and some­times sui­cide.

He urged Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) to ro­bustly en­gage communities in as­sist­ing with the erad­i­ca­tion of tragic and un­nec­es­sary in­ci­dents by obey­ing all traf­fic laws gov­ern­ing rail level cross­ings at all times.

The civic or­gan­i­sa­tion called for tough ac­tion against the truck driver who is al­leged to have crossed the rail­way line with­out stop­ping, caus­ing the crash.

Pas­sen­ger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) act­ing CEO Mthuthuzeli Swartz con­firmed on Thurs­day that the death toll stood at 18. He re­ferred to the ac­ci­dent as one of the sad­dest in­ci­dents in the his­tory of Metro­rail. “We want to as­sure that we will be tak­ing ev­ery nec­es­sary steps to as­sure that the safe ser­vices that we have been ren­der­ing con­tinue.

SHOCK­ING DEATHS: The col­li­sion train ac­ci­dent in Kroonstad which claimed the lives of at least 18 peo­ple.

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