Umhlali police in KwaZulu-Natal have welcomed a new amendment to the road traffic regulations that makes it illegal to transport schoolchildren in the back of bakkies in exchange for money, North Coast Courier reports.
The new rule will come into effect from May 11.
Umhlali police spokesperson Vinny Pillay said he urged parents and bakkie drivers to take the rule seriously.
“Bakkies and taxis are constantly being overloaded with schoolchildren. There have been many cases where children have been badly hurt after falling out of an overcrowded vehicle. Parents need to start making alternate arrangements for their children to get to school. It may be an inconvenience, but in the long run, children will be safeguarded against accidents that could have been avoided.”
Drivers caught transporting pupils could be arrested and/or fined.
The overloading of vehicles transporting schoolchildren is a common problem in Shakaskraal and Shaka’s Head.
Provincial education department spokesperson Kwazi Mthethwa said they were in full support of the new rule.
“This rule was long overdue and ensuring that pupils get to school safely is a priority. In an effort to provide access to education and eradicate illiteracy, MEC for Education Mthandeni Dlungwana strives to ensure that there is provision of subsidised dedicated learner transport in the province of KwaZulu-Natal. We believe that our learners should be safe on the roads to and from school.”
– Caxton News Service