By Confidente Reporter
THE Windhoek City Police has fined two companies for transporting their employees in unsafe vehicles stressing that such action endangers the lives of those being transported to and from their work stations.
The companies, Chinese Railway Services and a security firm Namibia Protection Services (NPS) act as proxies to the city’s municipal police and were each fined N$4 000 recently.
NPS’s fleet manager, Diah Williams confirmed the fine saying that the company has since invested in the safety of its workers. “One of our trucks was stopped and fined N$4 000 because of overloading.
But we have since addressed the matter and I should say we are one of the best security companies that provides safety to its workers. We now have cushions in our trucks, seatbelts and back-rests for our people. I should emphasise that turning a truck into a bus does not happen overnight and costs about N$20 000. The safety of our employees is a priority we take seriously,” Williams said.
City Police’s Hileni Wilhelm in the public relations office said that the municipal police has an ongoing operation targeting trucks which transport passengers in an unsafe manner or on goods compartments adding that transgressors will be penalised amounts ranging from N$1 000 to N$4 000. “The operation is also focusing on overloading, vehicle roadworthiness, and licence discs. Officers on the ground are also checking for valid driver’s licence and Personal Authorisation documents, also well known as PA. Drivers are urged to always be in possession of their driver’s licences, if not they risk getting a fine of N$1 500; also of paramount importance drivers should always carry their PA documents or risk the same fine. Members of the public who come across trucks or any vehicle conveying passengers in an unsafe manner are urged to report such acts to the police. Our contact number is 061 302302/ 061 2902239 and our sms line is 4444,” Wilhelm said.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment Creation, Erkki Nghimtina was recently quoted in the media calling for an end to the transportation of workers in open vehicles.
At the time, Nghimtina urged companies using trucks as modes of transport to ensure that there at least benches and railings for the safety and health of workers that is stipulated by the Road Traffic and Transport Regulations of 2001. Government also amended Regulation 266 of the Road Traffic and Transport Regulations and the new law that came into effect on July 28 stipulates that “A person may not operate a goods vehicle conveying persons on a public road unless that portion of the vehicle in which such persons are being conveyed is enclosed to a height of (a) at least 350 millimetres above the surface upon which such person is seated; or (b) at least 900 millimetres above the surface on which such person is standing – in a manner and with a material of sufficient strength to prevent such person from falling from that vehicle when it is in motion.”
The National Road Safety Council’s (NRSC) executive secretary, Eugene Tendekule said that the Ministries of Works and that of Justice are working on coming up with an appropriate fine for the serious offence.
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