Hit them in their pockets

WESTERN Cape MEC Robin Carlisle is on to a good thing.

WESTERN Cape MEC Robin Carlisle is on to a good thing.

He wants provincial governments to have the power to take away the licences of public transport companies that run life-threatening services.

It is about time. We hope Transport Minister Sbu Ndebele will expedite the process of having such a law in place.

Transport companies that do not pay due attention to the condition of their vehicles effectively trade in the lives of people. These companies need to be hit where it hurts most - in their pockets.

In the absence of a law allowing them to take away the licence of companies that operate these coffins on wheels, other provinces can take a leaf from Western Cape by ensuring that there are checkpoints around the clock and every day to ensure that faulty buses are not allowed to travel further into their territories.

Political maturity is necessary here because we know that our political leaders are prone to looking at who is talking rather than the merit of the idea that is on the table.

The focus on these transport companies must, however, not allow other road users to get away with murder. Individual's reckless driving, getting behind the wheel while intoxicated and speeding remain the greatest threats to life on our roads.

So provincial and national governments should avoid the temptation that comes with going for the low-hanging fruit of public approval by going after the big guns while neglecting what is statistically the biggest cause of the carnage on our roads.