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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Reckless truck driver earned himself dismissal on the spot for his antics, says NiDa

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NiDa has confirmed that the reckless driver captured on video dangerously overtaking on double solid lines, blind corners, in the face of oncoming traffic and sideswiping a bakkie and trailer on N11 at Amajuba earned himself an instant dismissal.

NiDa Transport confirmed to Fleetwatch’s Patrick O’Leary that the driver works for NiDa and was driving a NiDa truck.

Occupants of a vehicle following behind the truck recorded the truck charging up and down the N11 highway endangering the lives of several motorists.

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The trucker’s actions were easily mistaken for a runaway truck spiralling out of control down the steep and deadly Amajuba pass by some as the driver kept pressing forward and accelerating as if the accelerator got stuck while floored right down.

Those who thought the truck had a brake failure will be astonished to learn that the truck was actually climbing the hill. Yes, NiDa confirmed this.

According to Fleetwatch, the driver was stopped and apprehended by Charleston SAPS officials.

NiDa Operations Director, Pieter Kwakermaak, confirmed that the company was fully aware of the incident, that the driver was off the road and had been charged for reckless driving.

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“We’re as shocked as everyone else at this incident. We’ve seen the video that went onto social media and have also inspected our own in-cab camera videos and without doubt, this was a case of reckless driving. In terms of our internal disciplinary procedures, this warrants an instant dismissal and I can assure the public that that driver will never be seen behind the wheel of any of our trucks again. We are just so thankful no-one was hurt or killed by his actions. It was horrific,” Pieter said.

Watch: NiDa truck driver recklessly overtaking, pushing a bakkie off the road

Pieter said the driver had been with the company for just over a year and had initially been through the same selection criteria as all driver applicants.

“We check their references, put them through various driving and tipping tests (for side-tippers) and if they pass the initial screening, they are then put on a three month probation period during which time they are monitored and checked. We also do not employ foreign drivers and have not done so for a year,” he said.

He added that even if the driver had not been stopped and charged by the SAPS, the company would have picked up on his reckless driving via their own internal systems such as tracking and in-cab cameras.

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“We have various flags that arise in terms of driving behaviour and this was definitely flagged on our system. The fact that this driver went out of his normal on-road behaviour remains a mystery.

He said that in the year-plus that he has worked for the company, the has no previous adverse records.

Read also: Reckless truck driver found and arrested after video goes viral online

“In fact, if he had come to us today with his references, we would have employed him. He was not a problem driver at all. This then puts the whole incident in the hands of one person – the driver. What was going through his mind when he drove like that? What had caused him to depart from his normal driving behaviour? What was he thinking? What, what, what?

No transport company can fully control the behaviour of its drivers on the road. They can train them, engender in them a moral culture, monitor them but when a driver goes ‘off the wire’ as this one did, it’s in the driver’s hands. The process from here is that NiDa is taking the necessary action. The driver has been charged for reckless driving and the consequences for his actions are now in the hands of the SAPS and the Department of Justice.

The sentence will depend on the Magistrate when the driver appears in court. And it is not only reckless driving that he is facing. There is also a case of leaving the scene of an accident when he hit that bakkie and trailer. That too could be a case opened against him. What was he thinking? That is what I would love to know. We just thank God that no one was killed. It was so close on a number of occasions on his potential death run,” Pieter said speaking to Patrick.

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