SOMETHING AT LAST BEING DONE? A bakkie carrying schoolgoers crashed into a house on Edendale Road, Pietermaritzburg - seven died. Action at last on bakkie 'taxis'? Image: News24 / ER24
DURBAN, kwaZulu-Natal - The kwaZulu-Natal executive council has tasked the provincial departments of transport and education to come up with proposal on the use of bakkies to transport school children, following a horror crash in Imbali Township, Pietermaritzburg that killed seven children.
A government spokesperson said that school transport had been discussed at the provincial cabinet’s first meeting of 2015. The seven children who died were among 23 packed in a bakkie that crashed into a house.
'LACK ON TRANSPORT'
The spokesperson said the province had noted the extent of the problem of bakkies being used as public transport and the complexity of the matter, particularly in rural areas where the public still relied on such transport “because of the lack of public transport”.He said: “The cabinet has resolved that we need to move from bakkies to a safer mode of transport and that this needs to be implemented urgently.”
MONTHS OF BAKKIE CRASHES
In past few months we've seen horrific bakkie crashes throughout South Africa. Bakkie crashes keep occurring and despite fatal incidents nothing ever gets done to stop this highly dangerous practice. The root of the problem lies in regulation 247 and 250 of the National Road Traffic act.
With regards to transporting children, 247 states that provided children are sitting on the floor, and that the sides and rear door of the body are 350mm high (if standing 900mm high), it's perfectly legal to do so.
Video: What the law says about overladen bakkies
Section 250 also states that no person, adult or child, can be carried in the goods section of a "goods vehicle" for reward. So what about those who transport children to and from schools?
Here are some horror crashes reported on Wheels24:
Kids flung from bakkie in horror SA crash
In October 2014, the Western Cape, through its 'Safely Home' campaign, revealed shocking footage of bakkie crash. The video showed a vehicle smashing into the rear of a bakkie causing it the collide into the road barrier, destroying its load bay carrying children.
Bakkie crash: Another TEN killed
In December 2014, Wheels24 reported that ten people were killed in a collision involving a bakkie near Atamelang township in the Tswaing Local Municipality, North West. According to police, a VW Golf and a Toyota bakkie collided. Four people were in the Golf which was travelling to Delareyville; the bakkie was en route to Atamelang and was carrying nine people.
10-dead crash bakkie 'unroadworthy'
In December 2014, Wheels24 reported that 10 people when the bakkie they were travelling in collided with a truck. The provincial transport department said the vehicle had no roadworthy certificate and "it became clear to us when we saw the wreckage of the bakkie that it was not in good condition".
13 children hurt in Alberton crash
Thirteen children were injured when the Toyota Condor in which they were travelling collided with a truck on the N3 in Alberton on Monday (Feb 2), report paramedics.
13 children injured in Pretoria crash
Two people, including a child, were killed when a taxi transporting school children overturned on the R101 in the north of Pretoria on Tuesday (Feb 3) morning, said paramedics.
Wheels24 congratulates KZN for at least recognising the problem that has been hammered to the public by this website for some months. Now when is central government - the ANC - going to stand up in parliament with some concrete plans to halt the slaughter of the children of its electorate?