Following the fatal accident that happened at Mlangeni, in Ntcheu on Thursday involving a Premier Bus Service, it has been reported that out of the seven people who died, there were some among the dead who could not be identified, including a two-year-old girl.
Some Malawians have expressed concern over this development and, using the social media, they are calling on the authorities to make it compulsory that passengers’ names, addresses and next of kin must be registered on the tickets.
“Can’t [the authorities], please, introduce something like what happens when flying where they know identities of passengers?” Edgar Kapiza Bayani first posted on his Facebook profile. “I mean, can’t busses have registered names of passengers before embarking on their journeys?
“Only coaches do but sometimes like AXA [bus company] just record your phone number only for purposes of calling you to avoid missing the coach. I think Department of Road Safety should introduce this as a must.”
South Africa-based Malawian Yusuf Milazi gave an example that in South Africa long distance passengers are supposed to register their names, address and contact phones of next of kin.
Banks Mdala Kachinda said: “In RSA, Kenya and Zambia, it is a must for long distance buses to take down names, next of kin, destination and district of origin for all travelling passengers. And it is a must for such buses to have two drivers regardless of the time they are travelling.
“I’ve lost my neighbour, Angela Mwale — may her soul rest in peace — in that accident, she went for her granny’s tombstone unveiling,” Kachinda said.
The concerned Malawians are asking the authorities to strictly enhance such kind of registration not just for the luxury coaches but for all the other long distance big buses as well as the minibuses.
“It can really be so miserable and dreadful for families when such fatal bus accidents happen and they had their family members in such a bus,” said Jeremiah Kazembe. “I cannot describe the pain I would feel if I knew that one of my loved ones was travelling in a bus that was involved in an accident and I don’t have any clue as to what condition they are.
“I support the call to make it compulsory that all long distance buses should have contact details for the passengers’ next of kin on the tickets.”
Most tickets for buses are very small for detail like the fare, destination and date just for auditing purposes by the owners of the buses.
On the call to make it a must that long distance buses should have two drivers regardless of the time they are travelling, it is believed that the driver of the Premier Bus Service was dozing whilst at the wheel due to fatigue and failed to negotiate a corner and overturned, according to Ntcheu Police spokesperson Gift Matewere.
Matewere has since said: “The driver Richard Nyirenda (40) of Katolola Village, T/A Kyungu in Karonga will be charged with the offence of causing death by dangerous driving contrary to section 121 of Road Traffic Act.”
Several other people with internal injuries were referred to Kamuzu Central Hospital in Lilongwe and several others were admitted at Ntcheu District Hospital while others were treated as outpatients.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :