The Road Transport and Safety Agency has suspended the Road Service Licence for Beta Build Hardware and Electronics trading as Scorpion Bus Services for violating the terms and conditions upon which the operator’s licence was granted.
This comes in a wake of a road traffic crash on 17th April, 2019 around 19 20 hours on the Chingola Solwezi Road involving a Scorpion bus registration number BCA 8977ZM were 14 people died and 16 others injured.
Accident investigations conducted by the RTSA revealed that the driver of the bus, Eddie Katoyo, was over speeding as evidenced by the fact that he overtook several vehicles and subsequently hit into a stationary truck in the opposite lane.
RTSA records indicate that on 11th April, 2019, the same bus driver was reported to have been driving at excessive speed around Chisamba area on Great North Road after which he was summoned through his employers, but the operator failed to avail him to answer to the charge.
Further, investigations into the accident indicate that the driver, Mr. Katoyo was not licenced to drive a Public Service Vehicle and it was also established that the driver gave false information to officers when he presented fake documentation stating that he was a holder of a PSV licence when in fact not.
In a letter dated 15th May, 2019 addressed to the Director of Beta Build Hardware and Electronics, whose buses are branded as Scorpion Bus services, the RTSA expressed concern that the operator allowed or employed an unlicensed and inexperienced driver to drive a Public Service Vehicle, undoubtedly putting lives of passengers at risk further resulting injuries and loss of lives.
The operator’s action was described as tantamount to violating the conditions upon which the operator’s licence was granted thus posing serious danger to the travelling public.
RTSA has therefore, evoked Section 108(16) of the Road Traffic Act number 11 of 2002 that empowers the Agency to revoke, suspend or vary the terms of a RSL if the conditions subject to which it was granted are not being complied with.
In a statement issued by RTSA Head of Public Relations Fredrick Mubanga, the Agency has forthwith given Scorpion bus services 48 hours from 16th May 2019, to cease operations and thereafter none of the operator’s buses shall be expected to be on the road.
Mr. Mubanga said the Road Service Licence will only be restored subject to the operator meeting the conditions that the Agency has set to address the findings from the accident investigations which include, the company availing all its vehicles to the Agency for road worthiness inspection, avail all its drivers to the Agency for retest, and Installing of Global Positioning System on the buses using the RTSA recommended installation firm.
He said furthermore, the firm will be expected to implement the workplace Road Safety Policy which is underpinned by Driver management, Vehicle management, Journey management, Health and safety at the workplace, Organization management and Monitoring and Evaluation.
Mr. Mubanga said RTSA will fully facilitate the re-testing and re-inspection of the drivers, buses and monitor the operator in a bid to uplift their road safety profile.