NANCY SIAME, Lusaka
THE Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) has summoned Kapena Bus Company and asked it to explain in the next two days why its road service licence should not be suspended for violating the conditions under which it was granted.
In a letter dated May 29, 2017, RTSA chief executive officer Zindaba Soko states that preliminary investigations into the Luangwa accident which claimed 17 lives has shown that it was caused by brakes failure.
“It has come to light that the brakes on the bus were reported to have been fitted two days prior to the journey and were binding, thereby producing smell and heat,” the letter states in part.
This is according to a statement issued yesterday by RTSA head of public relations Frederick Mubanga.
Mr Soko said the findings of the preliminary investigations indicate that the operator failed to ensure that the bus was fit to be used to carry passengers after changing brakes and therefore endangered the travelling public.
He said the bus crew was allegedly seen under the bus before starting off, possibly re-adjusting the brakes to reduce the brake binding.
Mr Soko said as the driver drove from a stop-over and descended towards Luangwa Bridge, the brakes failed, and the bus rolled on dangerously fast.
He said the brakes had allegedly not been adjusted properly.
“It has also been established that the driver and the operator defied the provisions of statutory instrument number 76 of 2016, which restricts the movement of public service vehicles at night,” he said.
The accident happened around 21:00 hours killing 17 people when the bus plunged into a ravine.