The death toll from road accidents in the last eight months of this 2018 is among the highest in the same period of the last five years. In total: 1,433 lives lost from January to August of this year without accounting for the 12,890 injured (1,719 alone in August).
Creepy numbers, to which are added this month as the overturning of the bus Nambija cooperative on Tuesday left 12 dead and 27 seriously injured, to rush into an abyss.
Until yesterday, neither the transport minister nor the directors of the National Transit Agency (ANT) nor the Ecuadorian Traffic Commission (CTE) had spoken about these events.
According to the press room of the Transport and Public Works portfolio, the minister Boris Palacios is in charge of the application of the measures with which it is tried to stop the traffic accidents that left 219 dead and 1,719 injured last month, when in only Two bus accidents accounted for 37 deaths, in less than a week.
The new director of the ANT, Álvaro Guzmán, held on Tuesday a meeting with the executives of the Agency on the one hand to meet them and on the other to announce the guidelines on which work will be carried out in order to reduce deaths in the roads, which has failed to stop with the many measures announced, both by ministers, former directors of the entities in charge of the rectory and control of traffic in the country.
Through its Twitter account, the Transit Commission of Ecuador only yesterday showed videos of the support of citizens and drivers to the controls they perform in land terminals, with the aim of reducing traffic accidents on the roads.
Unlike previous accidents, in which the vehicles had not passed the review, were off their routes or did not have the permits, the bus of the Nambija cooperative had complied with everything required for its circulation. The fleet of that cooperative, according to the leaders, had been almost completely renovated.
The driver of the injured bus, Roberto Silva Paltín (35 years old), who was operated on by a blow to his chest and a fracture in his right leg, does not register traffic infractions (he has all the full points in his license) and there was no alcohol in his blood.
What happened? Survivors of the bus have told investigators from the Office of Traffic Accident Investigation (OIAT) that the cause of the accident was human failure.
Hugo Ortega (47 years old), a passenger who suffered a scratch on his nose and managed to escape death, stated that the accident occurred due to excessive speed and because the driver tried to pass a bus from the Cariamanga cooperative.
Speaking to the press of El Oro, Ortega said that the speedometer of the bus marked in some sections up to 140 kilometers per hour. “The passengers asked him to lower his speed a little, but he did not pay attention”.
The OIAT experts continue to gather all the information necessary for the competent authorities to determine responsibilities and, in the meantime, the cooperative continues to operate.
From Quito there have been no announcements of the suspension of the cooperative, due to the accident of one of its buses that cut the lives of 12 people, whose relatives cry inconsolably for their unexpected loss.
The Forensic Science Center of Machala was the scene of the pain of death. The husband of the teacher Elizabeth del Cisne Sarango Pinzón cannot assimilate the loss of the woman with whom he had two children.
In hospitals, the struggle is for the lives of the 27 injured, most of them seriously. Laura Zapata (27 years old), a native of Zamora, who suffered the amputation of her left arm, is in shock due to the loss of her limb. Their relatives say that because of the continuous accidents they are afraid to travel by road. And it is that the alarm of road accidents are world news picked up by international channels such as CNN in Spanish.
One of 18 buses approved the technical revision
Eighteen buses, between inter-cantonales and inter-provincials were yesterday obliged to comply with the vehicular technical revision in the center of km 10,5 of the road to Daule.
After the inspection, only one managed to pass in the process. The other units will only leave from the land terminal of Guayaquil after approving the process.
This was arranged by the Municipal Transit Authority (ATM) in the face of the continuous accidents registered on the country’s roads, in which mass service vehicles have been involved.
The entity gave a period of one month for the cooperatives that operate from the land terminal to comply with the standard. At 06:00 yesterday, civilian transit agents made a random inspection.
The Director of Transportation of the ATM, Fernando Amador, indicated that at least 85% of the buses that were part of the random control did not have the respective technical review unit. The retired units were replaced by others from the same cooperative.
The head of Traffic Control, General Luis Lalama, indicated that random checks will be sporadic in the ground terminal until the vehicle technical inspection center is installed they will enter the courtyards of the building at the moment the National Transit Agency (ANT) grants the ATM the competence to assume the revisions of said vehicles.
It is expected that the request will be approved in a matter of months. For the time being, personnel of the Ecuadorian Traffic Commission (CTE) will continue with the visual verification of the buses leaving the terminal, such as the condition of the tires, as well as request the license and carry out the alcohol test to the drivers. “We are not forcing the vehicle technical inspection to be carried out in Guayaquil, but in the cantons that have the modern equipment,” said Lalama.
Drivers consulted by EXPRESO agree with the technical verification, while asking the authorities to reduce the number of frequencies “to avoid competition on the roads.” Others consider that the deadline to comply with the process should be extended. Approximately 4,000 buses circulate daily at the land terminal of Guayaquil. (I)