N12 truck crash: Spotlight on overloading

Cosatu says it expects the overloading of trucks on Gauteng’s roads to be more closely monitored.

Several cars were involved in a massive accident after truck lost control and crashed into other cars on the N12 East at Voortrekker in Alberton on 14 October 2014. Picture: EWN Traffic

JOHANNESBURG - The Congress of South Africa Trade Unions (Cosatu) says it expects the overloading of trucks on Gauteng's roads to be more closely monitored following a fatal accident in Alberton this week.

Four people were killed and 16 others injured when a heavy duty truck ploughed through gridlocked traffic on the N12 highway.

Cosatu says while the truck owners should be taken to task due to alleged brake failure, traffic officials also need to improve their regulations.

Cosatu's Patrick Craven says, "The enforcement of speeding rules on roads in general, but trucks in particular of not properly enforced and clearly these laws are routinely flouted and must contribute to the number of accidents."

On Friday it was revealed the driver of the truck had previously served 18 months in prison for culpable homicide and state prosecutors say they want to verify if this was due to another accident.

The state was granted a postponement until next week to verify the 44-year-olds details, but also to determine if any additional charges can be laid.

While it's still unclear if the owners of the truck will face criminal charges, it has emerged that the MEC for transport has the power to revoke the company's license or close it.

Editor of FleetWatch Magazine Patrick O'Leary says the Road Traffic Management Corporation Act does not refer to criminal charges but it does prescribe other action.

"It empowers the MEC to take action against the operator and actually cancel the operator's licence."

The Congress of South African Trade Unions has also raised concerns about truck drivers shouldering the blame.

Spokesman Patrick Craven says, "The employers must also share in the responsibility and take strong action against theirs breaking the law."

Benusi Cargo Carriers has not responded to media queries since the accident happened and yesterday withdrew its legal support for the truck driver who remains behind bars.