The Herald (Harare)

11 June 2012

Zimbabwe: Accidents - Drivers to Be Blacklisted

BUS drivers who cause accidents will fail to get employment elsewhere after operators resolved to create a database blacklisting them. The resolution came out of a Cross Border Bus Operators Association annual general meeting held recently.

The blacklisting of the drivers will be part of a raft of measures being implemented by the operators to curb road carnage.

The bus operators said they will soon approach the Government for legislation compelling all of them to register their drivers on the database.

But the process will start immediately on a voluntary basis.

The operators association's executive officer Mr Alex Kautsiro said last week that they noticed that drivers who are reckless easily get employment elsewhere after being fired because their records are not known.

"At the moment, there is no process of monitoring profiles of drivers and they move from one operator to another," said

"We have noted that most accidents are caused by the same drivers and resolved as an association that we should keep a database for drivers.

"The process of capturing the database would be voluntary, but we will be approaching the Government to compel all operators to do so."

Mr Kautsiro said they wanted those with buses to belong to an association as a pre-condition to get a permit.

He said they will be pushing a legal framework that compels all bus operators to belong to a recognised association before registration. The association wants operators to be involved in the process of regulation to ensure that they will comply with the rules.

Mr Kautsiro said they were envisaging a situation where there was self regulation of operators, while Government would just come in to play an oversight function.

"We know the shortcuts our colleagues take in the business," he said.

"Ultimately, our goal is to have a legal statute establishing an association of our industry modelled along the same lines with Law Society of Zimbabwe where failure to register would result in punitive action.

"The current problem is that the people who know about the shortcuts involved in the industry are not involved in regulation."

Having a formal association for bus operators has worked well in South Africa, said Mr Kautsiro.

He said the advantage of having operators belonging to an association would be to make it easy to consult with Government or any authority on a pertinent issue.

"That is why the idea of moving from second hand and left hand vehicles by the Government was difficult to implement," said Mr Kautsiro.

"The reason was that our industry is not comprehensively under one umbrella. The people who were not part of those that were consulted were the ones who made noise."

Concern has been raised in the past by stakeholders on the number of road carnages that have claimed lives.

What has irked authorities and the general public is that most of the accidents are due to human error, with drivers at fault.

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