The bus industry uses the term ‘pax’ for passengers. However, when transporting people on open overloaded bakkies and trucks, the ‘pax’ and goods are given equal treatment. It’s an African thing – It seems that most people on the continent arrive at their OHS Act-governed workplace via a dangerously driven, un-roadworthy minibus taxi or on the back of an open goods vehicle.

The 13th Amendment to the National Road Traffic Act published in Government Gazette 29865 – 4 May 2007 – carried changes to Regulation 247. There’s no restriction on the number of persons that may be carried on the back of a goods vehicle but now it must be empty of tools or goods – except for personal effects – unless they are separated by a partition.

What is a partition? Will a hessian sack be sufficient to comply? Is the partition subject to any safety standard for load/impact stress? Should the people be behind or in front of the partition? And what are personal effects?

Obviously, the intent is to stop staff from being transported on top of the cargo, a daily sight around any SA City. So now to comply do we load the bags of cement at the rear of the bakkie and people against the cab? In this instance the heavier cement will drastically change the mass distribution of the vehicle to affect a load transfer and change vehicle steer-ability.

Conceivably the Regulation is intended to force service industries into transporting people in trucks with crew cab configurations. The Isuzu truck range offers both medium and heavy truck models that are equipped with an integral crew cab and seat belts for all seated passengers – now a favourite with municipalities

Regulation 247 does require a truck cargo body to be enclosed to a height of at least 350mm above the surface above which a person is seated and at least 900mm above which a person is standing. It does go on to state that the material strength of the sides must be of ‘sufficient strength to prevent such person from falling from such vehicle when it is in motion.’ Business must take note that transporting staff on open trucks can provide ambulance-chasing lawyers with a litigation feast. An Isuzu crew cab is a solution.

Do not overlook VAT – an Isuzu truck crew cab allows for VAT to be claimable – a significant benefit.

If you wish to take this further, please contact Director Deputy Managing Faizal Mohideen at 031 713 3145 or at