Comment by John Robbie

Truck inspections should be priority in promoting road safety

Tuesday’s horrific truck crash in Alberton was one of the worst we’ve ever seen – well it was certainly one of the worst I’ve ever seen and I’ve been doing radio for 28 years now.

In hindsight, it was actually a miracle that only four people were killed and 16 were injured. You’ve seen the photographs, it’s like an absolute war zone and of course it led to all sorts of issues around truck and road safety and once again we had the Transport Minister wringing her hands, trying to convince us that the matter is taken seriously by government – she was actually in tears on the site.

It turns out that both the licence and the roadworthy certificates for both the truck and the trailer that caused the crash have expired. And we know from Patrick O’ Leary – and he’s very experienced with trucks at FleetWatch – that the brakes were totally shot and he’d examined them on the scene.

We had eyewitness reports that the truck was speeding and now we learn that the driver - who ran away from the scene and was arrested in Potchefstroom – had two previous convictions for culpable homicide and reckless and negligent driving.

It’s believed he was jailed for both offences, so the next time that anyone tries to tell us that we take road safety seriously, just throw this case in their faces.

How many other truck drivers like this are on the road as I’m speaking at the moment?

Look around; the truck that’s beside you or behind you could have a situation like the one I’ve just described. How many out there? I shudder to think when will anyone do anything about it? What do you think?

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