Driver safety: Rules for transporting passengers on bakkies

It’s not safe to carry passengers on the back of goods vehicles, including trucks and bakkies, but it’s a common practice in South Africa. Drivers don’t seem to care that there aren’t any of the driver safety features required to transport people. The law dictates how many people can travel in a car, and it specifies that safety features must be in place: safety belts, airbags and seat belts, for example. But what does the law say about transporting people on goods vehicles?

The legal ramifications

Many people, including children, are injured or killed when they are involved in accidents on open-backed vehicles, but there is still a lack of legislation regarding this bad habit. According to the Arrive Alive website, critics have been unsuccessfully lobbying the authorities for years to prohibit the carrying of people in the goods sections of trucks and bakkies. But, not only are people allowed to be transported in this way, there is also little legislation regarding driver safety requirements. This is surprising: the people who are transported in this way are usually poor and have limited access to health care. One reason for the lack of legislation, according to Arrive Alive, is that people have to be transported for work. Road traffic legislation allows for transporting people in the goods section of vehicles as long as it is not for reward.

What can be done?

One of the key points highlighted in this government national policy white paper is that transport needs to be affordable to meet basic accessibility requirements and this must be made a priority for transport planning. The main obstacle is that a viable transport system is expensive. We need to develop infrastructure to support an accessible transport system, and it is important to identify the skills and technology to make this possible. Employers should follow acceptable labour practices which protect the health and safety of employees and part of this is enabling staff to access a transport system that will benefit everyone.

At Avis Fleet, we offer our customers total peace of mind: should something go wrong, we’ll be at your side in every step of the process. Our comprehensive fleet management solutions take the sting out of dealing with the unforeseen. Have a look at our fleet solutions to see how we can help you to maintain the highest standards in driver safety.

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