102 school children packed into 18 seater bus
By Nomava Nobumba
26 February 2010
A bus driver is behind bars after he was caught driving an unlicensed vehicle, carrying an overload and driving without license.
The 49 year old driver from Belhar was arrested in Highlands Drive, Mitchell’s Plain on Wednesday, after his bus was stopped by City Traffic Services.
The 18 seater bus was carrying 102 school children aged between 5 and 13 years old.
Spokesperson Merle Laurens says the learners were sitting on the passage and on each other’s laps.
Laurens adds the bus was had a false licence disc and number plates belonging to another bus permitted to carry 29 passengers.
“The structure of the bus had been drastically altered, with wooden benches fitted to the interior to increase seating capacity. The load-sensor valves had been disconnected, rendering only the front brakes operational. The safety-glass windows of the bus had also been removed and replaced with Perspex,” said Laurence.
Laurens says the suspect is facing charges of driving without a Road Transportation Permit, passenger overload, driving without a licence, driving without a professional driving permit and driving with a false clearance certificate and number plates.
The owner of the bus was subsequently charged with permitting an unlicensed driver to drive a bus.
Laurens says he will also be facing further charges of fraud and negligence related to the Child Protection Act.
The bus has been impounded and will undergo a roadworthy examination.