Primary school children taken to hospital after crash
More than a dozen primary schoolchildren squashed in the back of bakkie escaped with minor injuries after a minibus taxi allegedly crashed into them in New Brighton on Thursday morning.
The 33-year-old driver of the Quantum minibus taxi was arrested on the scene.
Police spokesman Captain Andre Beetge said the bakkie, which had a canopy, was transporting the 18 children, aged between six and 12 years, when the accident happened at about 7:30am.
Beetge said witnesses reported that the taxi was speeding and overtaking vehicles before it T-boned the bakkie.
“It is alleged that the bakkie was travelling in Avenue A when it was in the process of turning into Harmans Street. It is further alleged that the minibus taxi was overtaking vehicles and speeding when it overtook a bus, colliding into the side of the bakkie that was turning into Harmans Street. The bakkie was transporting 10 girls and 8 boys.”
Beetge said only the driver and one passenger were in the taxi at the time.
The children were taken to Livingstone and Dora Nginza hospitals for treatment of shock and a general check-up as a precautionary measure.
“No serious injuries were sustained and some of the children walked away with minor cuts and bruises,” he said.
Beetge said the minibus taxi was found to be unroadworthy and unlicensed.
“The vehicle was taken to the police station and the driver was arrested.”
According to the preliminary investigation, the driver is licensed but does not have a professional driving permit (PrDP), which is required by law to operate as a taxi driver.
Beetge said more charges could be added.
In May 2017, a law was passed making it illegal to transport schoolchildren, for reward, in the goods compartment of a vehicle – including a bakkie.
“As part of the probe, detectives will liaise with traffic department officials and the Department of Transport to determine which route to take with regards to the bakkie's 35-year-old driver who was transporting the school children,” he said.
The bakkie driver could also be charged for flouting road regulations related to the transporting of children in a bakkie.
The driver of the minibus is due to appear in the New Brighton Magistrate's Court on Friday for reckless and negligent driving.