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PUTCO’S INTERVENTIONS REDUCE BUS ACCIDENTS

The Decade for Action for Road Safety 2011- 2020 was officially proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in March 2010. The main objective was to stabilize and reduce road traffic deaths around the world. South African government and other organisations have invested significant resources and heightened road safety awareness, in an effort to decrease the carnage on our roads.

Putco has always placed a high premium on the safety of commuters and in the last three years, has introduced numerous interventions and collaborated with various stakeholders in finding lasting solutions to road accidents.

Putco is pleased to have contributed positively in reducing the road carnage during the festive season. Accidents involving Putco buses in the last 4 years are still a major cause for concern, however there has been a notable decrease in the number of accidents over the years especially along the Moloto corridor; this was due to the implementation of various interventions that focused on protecting the lives of the people who commute daily and rely on Putco bus services.

In the financial year 2016/17, Putco recorded 61 accidents and by end of December 2019, the number of accidents had dropped to 18.

Statistics from July 2019 to December 2019, recorded seven (7) accidents and from 1st December to 31st December 2019, a Putco bus was involved in one (1) major accident along the Moloto road, when a third party truck lost control and collided head-on with an oncoming bus, killing one person from the bus and another one from the third party vehicle.

This is a noteworthy reduction in accidents involving Putco buses and the partnerships that Putco entered into with government agencies such as, the Road Traffic Infringement Agency (RTIA), Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) and Gerotek. We also implemented the On-board Live Monitoring Systems, in partnership with Altron Netstar fleet management solution in all our buses.

All the partnerships we forged was in an effort to enhance road safety education and introduce advanced driving techniques to Putco bus drivers. The first cohort of 30 drivers trained by Gerotek , were selected from drivers that operate Soweto routes and those who travel along the Moloto corridor. The main objective of the partnership with Gerotek is to create a Driver Training Academy that would focus on servicing the post licence driver training needs of Putco drivers and later the industry, set norms and standards and be recognised as the industry benchmark for training heavy duty vehicle drivers.

Putco has a TETA and MERSETA Accredited Training Academy which is headed by qualified personnel. Our selection process is rigorous, recruiting only drivers who have experience in driving heavy duty vehicles, buses or trucks, preferably heavier than 3.5 tons.

Part of the training includes mechanical appreciation course; which deals with the technical aspects of the bus, to increase the overall effectiveness of a driver when handling a bus and intensify our safety standards. The Academy also offers refresher and remedial driver training programmes to augment the skills set and rehabilitate drivers who have been involved in accidents.

PUTCO has been finding it difficult to recruit sufficient number of experienced heavy duty vehicle drivers, to train and appoint for its operational requirements in Gauteng and Mpumalanga. For every 10 driver candidates that enter the PUTCO selection process, only three (3) will qualify for appointed.

The commitment to reduce the carnage on our roads, will improve significantly with continuous monitoring of all these interventions and collective responsibility from all road users. All these interventions contributed to the reduction of Putco bus accidents, especially along the Moloto corridor during the festive period.

Enquiries:

Jack Sekwaila: Executive Group Operations Manager-0825782520, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Matlakala Motloung: Business Development and Marketing Executive- 0824584426, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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