Operation Learner Transport: De Doorns School Bus Driver Arrested
Media Statement by Dan Plato, Minister of Community Safety
The Western Cape Minister of Community Safety, Dan Plato, praised Provincial Traffic Services for the quick arrest of a school bus driver in the De Doorns area for being under the influence of alcohol.
The driver, carrying 48 seasonal workers on a 60-seater bus, was on his way to pick up learners when provincial traffic services observed irregular driving behavior and instructed the bus driver to pull over. The driver's alcohol breath test measured 0.60 mg/1 000 ml, well over the legal limit, and he was immediately detained at the De Doorns Police Station. The driver was then taken to Worcester for the drawing of a blood sample.
Minister Plato said, "The message is clear; we have a zero-tolerance approach to learner safety and any driver or bus found to be unfit to drive our learners will not be allowed on our roads. I am deeply concerned by such disregard for human life, especially the lives of our youth. The owners of transport businesses need to take more responsibility in ensuring these situations never happen. Thankfully this driver had not picked up any learners at the time of his arrest. Together with my colleagues, the Minister of Education, Donald Grant, and Robin Carlisle, the Minister of Transport in the Western Cape, we will continue with our Operation: Learner Transport, which forms part of our Safely Home campaign, and ensure that our learners arrive at school safe and on time."
Western Cape Minister of Education, Donald Grant, said the following: "We are working closely with the departments of Community Safety and Transport to ensure learner safety on buses contracted to our learner transport scheme. We believe this campaign is imperative as it sends a strong message to all bus companies that the Western Cape Government will not compromise on learner safety. We are grateful that the driver concerned had been pulled over before putting the safety of any of our learners at risk. The WCED will be investigating the matter further."
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