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Should truck companies be held accountable after several deadly crashes?

Sep 21, 2022

Neelam Rahim – neelam@radioislam.co.za

4 minute read
21 September 2022
10:20 am CAT

South Africa has a well-deserved bad reputation for deadly road accidents. Sadly, this was proved on Friday when 20 people, primarily young children, were killed in an accident between a truck and a bakkie near Pongola in northern KwaZulu-Natal. Then on Monday, there was another shocking accident near Ulundi. A viral video shows a man saving a woman from a burning car. The vehicles exploded after a truck driver failed to stop at the crash scene, colliding with six other cars, four trucks, one SUV and a light delivery vehicle.

Speaking to Radio Islam International, the Road Traffic Management Corporation spokesperson, Simon Zwane, said there seem to be more trucks travelling on the roads.

There are talks that these drivers themselves are under a lot of pressure and get paid per load; hence they try to get as quickly as possible therefore the reckless behaviour is seen on the roads.

According to Zwane, the law is specific in regards to the duties of the owners when it comes to operating on South African roads.

He said there could be consequences for the owners, of which they are aware. Adding, “After several fatal tragedies that have occured on the roads, we have conducted an investigation which indicates there are many instances where break failure, tire bursts and such are the cause of the crashes.”

Zwane further stated that the driver could not be blamed for brake failure. The owner is responsible for ensuring that the vehicle they put on the roads is roadworthy. They also must employ competent drivers who obey the rules of the road.

There are specific steps operators can take to reduce the number of accidents we see on the road.

In terms of execution of the law to ensure greater compliance by truck drivers and trucking companies, Zwane said the owners must take responsibility and do what the law requires them to do.

“The drivers should act appropriately, respective of the pressure they are under as it is not an excuse to overtake on barrier lines, and indeed the law must be enforced vigorously.”

Listen below to the interview with Moulana Sulaimaan Ravat and Simon Zwane on Radio Islam’s podcast.

 

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