BUUMBA CHIMBULU writes
THE Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) has given Scorpion bus services seven days ultimatum to exculpate itself and explain why the agency should not suspend its operating licence for employing a driver without a licence.
This comes in the wake of a road traffic crash on 17th April, 2019 involving a Scorpion Bus registration number BCA 8977ZM where fourteen people died and sixteen injured.
RTSA head of public relations, Fredrick Mubanga said in a statement that Scorpion Bus Services had employed an unlicensed driver to drive a Public Service Vehicle (PSV) thereby violating the terms under which the Road Service Licence (RSL) was granted.
Mr Mubanga explained that investigations into the accident indicated that the offender Eddie Katoyo was not licenced to drive a Public Service Vehicle.
“Further, 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. He was summoned, but did not show up to answer to the charge.
“It was also established that the driver gave false information to officers when he presented fake documentation indicating that he was licensed with a PSV licence when in fact not,” he said.
The operator, Mr Mubanga said, abrogated the conditions of the RSL, by allowing or employing an unlicensed driver.
He said RTSA was concerned that the operator could allow or employ an unlicensed and inexperienced driver to drive a Public Service Vehicle, an action that undoubtedly put a lot of lives at risk further resulting in injuries and fatalities.
“The RTSA is evoking Section 108(16) of the Road Traffic Act No.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 letter dated 23rd April, 2019 addressed to the Director of Beta Build Hardware and Electronics, trading as Scorpion Bus services, the RTSA have observed that the latter action by the operator is tantamount to violating the conditions upon which the operator’s licence was granted,” Mr Mubanga said.