WINDHOEK – The first fine of N$2 000 was issued yesterday when officers of the Windhoek City Police Traffic Unit stopped several over-loaded trucks and pick-ups (bakkies) transporting people to their places of work.
The police operation targetting trucks transporting passengers in contravention of the provisions of the Road Traffic and Transport Act on overloading started early yesterday morning. The operation follows close on the heels of an announcement by the Minister of Works and Transport, Erkki Nghimtina on Monday that government will soon table a bill that will make transporting people in the back of trucks illegal. During the weighing of one truck the scales indicated a weight exceeding the legal limit by one tonne, which shows that the truck was in fact 150 percent overloaded and the weight of the entire truck 83.1 percent over the legal limit. Both the driver and the company owner were charged with overloading and inadequate measures relating to the safe and secure conveyance of persons.
Deputy chief of the traffic management unit, Adam Eiseb, briefed the media at the scene and said the law is clear that when people are transported on goods vehicles this must be done safely and securely. He said the back of such vehicles, should be secure and closed to a certain height. “That is subject to the general rule of safety. It all boils down to negligence and inconsiderate driving on the side of the driver, if these safety measures are not in place,” he said.
Eiseb further said the tipper trucks widely used in the construction sector and generally meant to convey construction materials and goods will in all likelihood no longer be allowed to transport people. He said the regulations on the transportation of people on open trucks and goods delivery trucks and vans will be enforced strictly countrywide and all persons in the back of open trucks should be seated flat in the carriage area,” he explained.
By Fifi Rhodes