EThekwini Municipality culminated Transport Month, observed in October, on a high note by conducting spot heavy vehicle inspections on the busy M7 freight corridor on 31 October which saw the suspension of 10 articulated trucks and 55 normal prosecutions for a range of offences including worn tyres, unlicensed drivers and vehicles and defective windscreen wipers. This is one of many planned operations to promote road safety in the City on an ongoing basis.

From left: Daniel Harrilall, Logan Chetty, both from the eThekwini Transport Authority (ETA) inspect a vehicle with eThekwini Deputy Mayor Fawzia Peer and Captain Samuel Singh from the Metro

eThekwini Municipality’s Head of Communications, Tozi Mthethwa said, “The joint hour-long operation, on both the M7 east and west bound, was conducted by Metro Police officers, the Road Traffic Inspectorate (RTI) and officials from the eThekwini Transport Authority (ETA). Besides the suspensions and offences, three of the trucks did not have working braking systems and had to be towed to a safe place. A number of private vehicles were also pulled over to inspect their roadworthiness during the operation.”

Logan Moodley, Deputy Head of the ETA, said with the suspension of the trucks, their licence disc and the operators card were removed. They would have to reregister the vehicle as well
as undergo a certificate of roadworthiness test. “This is a time consuming process for business owners. Also a licence for a heavy duty truck costs between R8 000 to R12 000. The suspension affects the productivity of the company. We want to show truck owners that we mean business about ensuring their vehicles are roadworthy. It was a job well done,” Moodley said.

EThekwini Deputy Mayor Fawzia Peer attended the operation and praised the efforts of officers and officials. “Today is the last day of Transport Month so it is appropriate for this operation to be held. I am glad that this operation encourages road safety and encourages road awareness.”

She said truck owners needed to be held liable if their vehicles were not roadworthy. “I have seen some of the defects of the trucks and it is shocking. The safety of all drivers is affected and could result in innocent people losing their lives. While heavy duty vehicles play an important role in logistics and the transporting of goods, safety must be prioritised,” Cllr Peer said.

She requested that monthly updates on the number of vehicles pulled over and checked and the names of those fined be submitted to her as Chairperson of the Security and Emergency Services Committee. Furthermore she said a proposal to establish a specialised task team of Metro Police officers to carry out these operations be submitted. The team will receive special training to further carry out these duties.

Daniel Harillal, also from the ETA, said the operation was conducted on the M7 freight corridor both east and west bound as it is the busiest fright corridor. “This is not the end of our enforcement operations. It is ongoing and will be spreading to other freight corridors. Our focus is on heavy duty vehicles. We have a strategic partnership with Metro Police, RTI and the South African National Roads Agency Limited for these operations,” he said.