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Ministry announces tougher checks after wheel falls off school bus

Highway, Nicosia-Limassol, traffic, congestion, cars
File photo

Checks will be carried out at tyre fitting services after a bus transporting school-children lost one of its wheels on the motorway last week, the road transport department announced on Tuesday.

After receiving the results of an investigation into the school-bus incident, the department announced a series of measures to prevent similar occurrences in the future.

It added that the reports prepared by the road transport and the electrical and mechanical departments will be forwarded to the police for investigation of a possible criminal offence.

Under the new measures, the Road Transport Department (TOM) will carry out random technical inspections of buses 10 years and older in the near future, while the entire passenger fleet of the owning company of the bus in question has been invited for a comprehensive inspection.

Letters will also be forwarded to all companies that own buses, listing recommendations in relation to inspections that they should carry out before their buses start their day’s work. TOM will also issue a Technical Instruction to all Private Vehicle Technical Inspection Centres (VTCs) as they also check the proper fit of the wheels.

In the immediate future, the road transport department will conduct a Technical Roadside Inspection Campaign on heavy vehicles.

Inspections at vehicle tyre changing centres are also expected, to ascertain whether the correct procedures are being followed when changing tyres.

The transport ministry will prepare draft regulations for more frequent inspections of heavy vehicles over ten years old, every six months, which will be subject to public consultation.

On May 10, a bus transporting students to Larnaca lost a wheel near the Athienou exit on the Nicosia-Larnaca motorway. The wheel apparently hit the second bus in the convoy without causing any damage.

No students were hurt as the bus driver was able to stop by the roadside.

But this was not the first incident involving a bus carrying schoolchildren.

A similar instance occurred in Limassol six months ago, with a private company bus that had been chartered by a school. The transport ministry has said that in both cases, the buses were operating within the prescribed legal framework and all the required checks had been carried out.

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