[Fwd: 49 children in a taxi, and it gets worse... (shortened)]

By Sinegugu Ndlovu

KZN traffic police were shocked to find 49 school children crammed into
a taxi they had stopped at Mooi River Toll Plaza yesterday morning.

Worse was to follow when they discovered that the driver was five times
over the legal alcohol limit.

Road Traffic Inspectorate chief Collin Govender said the pupils, who
were between three and 13 years old, had been at huge risk.

'His vision was blurred'The taxi, which was certified to carry 16
passengers, had been travelling to Estcourt, where the children went to

"The children were sitting on top of each other. It's outrageous when
you consider that these are school children who were being transported
by someone in possession of a public driver's permit. Driving under the
influence of alcohol is one thing, but when you consider the lives of
all these children it shows how irresponsible the driver is," said

"His vision was blurred. It's 30km from Mooi River to Estcourt and he
still had to drive to different schools when he arrived in the town to
drop off the children. The children had to remain in that
(uncomfortable) position until they got to school. They had their school
bags with them and the conductor was also in the taxi," he said.

"We are fortunate (that nothing happened). This was a disaster waiting
to happen."

This article was originally published on page 1 of The Mercury on
February 04, 2010


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