Motoring / Motoring News

Glen Hill
1 minute read
23 Oct 2014
10:00 am

Horror crash driver should have been rooted out

Glen Hill

The public has rightfully asked many questions of the horrific truck crash in Alberton last week, most of them focusing on the driver.

In particular, questions have been raised about the driver’s previous conviction for culpable homicide.

However, the questioning needs to go much further. In order to drive the vehicle legally, the driver would have had to be in possession not only of a Code EC driving licence but also of a professional driving permit or PrDP as it is called.

A PrDP is valid for two years and requires that the driver undergo an eye test and cursory medical examination.

Of particular importance in this instance is it requires that your fingerprints be taken and that the SAPS check for a criminal record on the national database.

When the PrDP is issued, an entirely new licence card is made for the driver and the permit is recorded on the face of the licence in the bottom right hand corner of the card. It cannot be missed by anyone looking for it.

Certainly, the driver of the crash truck’s employers should have looked for it when they checked to see whether their truck would be driven by a properly authorised driver.

If it was not there, the trucking company knowingly allowed an improperly qualified driver to operate one of their vehicles.

If it was there, then one has to question the entire purpose of the SAPS record check, which is costly and time consuming.

Both of these possibilities need to be thoroughly investigated.

It is possible the entire licence was forged, but if the mechanisms to keep both truck and driver off the road were in place, they just were not used.

The guilty parties at each stage – leading up to and including the crash – need to be held to account. This was no accident.