Buttskop level crossing crash claims seven lives
Statement by Donald Grant, Minister of Transport and Public Works
Earlier today, I was saddened to hear of a horrific crash at the Buttskop level crossing which claimed the lives of seven people when a bakkie they were travelling in collided with a train. The crash occurred in the early hours of this morning.
The cause of the crash has not yet been definitely established and will be determined only once the investigation has been completed.
On behalf of the Western Cape Government, I should like to extend my heartfelt condolences to the families and loved ones of the seven people who lost their lives this morning.
This is not the first horrific crash to occur at this particular level crossing. In August 2010, 10 school children were killed (and others injured) when a minibus taxi they were in collided with an oncoming train. Since then, the Western Cape Government, together with the City of Cape Town, have implemented the CCTV level-crossing camera enforcement system, first implemented at the White Road level crossing. With this system, offenders face stiff fines, starting at R500 for failure to stop before crossing the level crossing. They may also face arrest and charges of reckless and negligent driving. The system has been successful in raising awareness about the dangers of level crossing, and encouraging motorists to change behaviour.
As another long weekend commences we appeal to all motorists and other road users to drive responsibly and to exercise maximum care on the road network.
We will be assisting the SAPS in their investigation of this crash in any way possible. This horrific crash should serve as a wake-up call to all motorists about the dangers of level crossings, and the often fatal consequences of not adhering to road signals and warnings about impending danger.