WHO’S TAKING YOUR CHILD TO SCHOOL? MEC Donald Grant holds a door which fell off a school-transport Volksie bus that took children to Parow Valley Preparatory School. Image: Safely Home
PAROW, Western Cape - Cape Town Traffic Services conducted a school transport operation outside the Parow Valley Preparatory School on Thursday (Oct 16 2014). The blitz's findings were shocking, to say the least.
The operation, part of the Western Cape's 'Safely Home' campaign, found that many drivers operated without permits and many vehicles were overloaded with children. Six vehicles were impounded and at three drivers were operating without a licence.
Western Cape MEC for transport and public works, Donald Grant, said: "This was just one of many such operations conducted by CoCT Traffic Services in and around the Metro area which targeted drivers' fitness and vehicle's roadworthiness.
'DOOR FELL OFF'
Grant explained: "During this morning’s operation I saw many children still being transported under very dangerous and unacceptable circumstances. One vehicles full of schoolchildren - being driven by an unlicensed driver! - was in such serious disrepair that the door fell off while being inspected by traffic officials (see picture).
"There is a serious threat to the safety of all children who have to travel under such adverse conditions."
The department reported that blitzes were done in areas where conditions under which children were being transported to and from school were "contrary to those envisaged by the National Land Transport Act". The law requires vehicles to be roadworthy and appropriate for carrying children and operators to have documentation/authority to do so.
Grant said: "Parents must partner with us in to protect children and must, when contracting privately with transport operators, take every practical step to make sure their transport is safe and reliable and that the driver has the relevant records and authorisation.
"Province, law enforcement, schools and parents must do more to make sure that school-goers transport is safe so that our children are protected from victimisation on our roads."
Data from the October 15 operation:
• Six vehicles impounded.
• Five drivers operating without permits, one in contravention of an existing permit.
• Three drivers unlicensed, another two driving without carrying a licence.
• Six vehicles overloaded.
• One without a licence disc.
• Two vehicles penalised for faulty tyres, another two for seat-belt contraventions.
Grant said: "City traffic services, Provincial Traffic and 'Safely Home' will continue to do all they can to ensure that the safety of children through continued operations such as this focused where children are most in danger."
CHILD PEDESTRIAN FATALITIES MAP
Earlier in October 2014 Wheels24 reported that the Western Cape's 'Safely Home' road safety campaign released an interactive map showing child pedestrians killed in 2014.
The map, part of a Western Cape focus on protecting children walking next to roads, was compiled using data provided by the Forensic Pathology Service of the Western Cape Department of Health.
What do you think of the Western Cape's private transport for schoolchildren? Are you aware of similar cases of sub-standard vehicles elsewhere in SA? Email us and we'll publish your thoughts on Wheels24.