MEC Calls for System to Monitor Long Distance Bus Drivers
This follows allegations by SA Roadlink's former and current bus drivers in today's Cape Times that they are often forced to drive for 17 hours without a rest.
"The introduction of such a system will go a long way towards preventing road accidents as a result of driver fatigue. It will also help prevent bus companies from abusing bus drivers by allocating them unacceptably long working hours" said the Minister.
This new system should be able to be monitored and audited by independent experts and I am prepared to foot the bill for this in the Western Cape as an important element of our province-wide Safely Home campaign.
"It is inhumane to either expect or compel any employee, especially a long distance bus driver, to work for 17 hours without a proper rest. Doing so puts the life of the driver, the passengers and, importantly, all other road users at risk. Bus drivers are not machines. They are human beings who deserve to be treated with dignity. They cannot be expected to drive passengers safely home when they are fatigued.
"Fatigue leads to fatal driving behaviour. Unfortunately, very few long distance bus companies have verifiable mechanisms in place to ensure that their drivers drive for a maximum of four hours per trip accompanied by another driver. While some of the major bus companies use tracking devices to monitor their buses to ascertain that their drivers are fit to drive at all times , the sad reality is that many bus companies don't do this" added the Minister.
As for the allegations made today in the press, the Minister concluded that the onus is now on SA Roadlink to prove that these serious charges leveled against the bus company by its former and current bus drivers are not true through an independent and verifiable process.
Media Liaison Officer
Ministry of Transport and Public Works
Western Cape Provincial Government
Tel: 021 483 8954
Cell: 083 641 9691