French crackdown on Morocco 'death coaches'

19th July 2004, Comments 0 comments

BORDEAUX, France, July 18 (AFP) - Police in southwestern France stopped two long-distance buses headed for Morocco and found them massively overloaded and being driven by people who had not taken the regulation rest pauses, gendarmes said.

BORDEAUX, France, July 18 (AFP) - Police in southwestern France stopped two long-distance buses headed for Morocco and found them massively overloaded and being driven by people who had not taken the regulation rest pauses, gendarmes said.  

The stopping of the two vehicles, of the type which mostly take immigrant workers home from France for the holiday season, came four weeks after a similar bus crashed in western France, killing 11 people.  

Gendarmes in the southwestern Gironde region around Bordeaux said one of the buses stopped on Saturday was overloaded by almost 12 tonnes and the other by 7.7 tonnes.

"That's enormous, because they were almost scraping along the ground," a gendarmerie official said.  

The drivers of the buses, which were stopped on the main A10 motorway, had not respected the regulation rest periods, and one of them was banned from driving more than 50 kilometers (30 miles) away from his company's headquarters, gendarmerie lieutenant Olivier Lefebvre said.  

The two drivers, who were both Moroccan, were given on-the-spot fines of EUR 1,500 (USD 1,860). They were also due to be brought up before a local court, along with the heads of the companies that employed them.  

The gendarmerie said that the buses were later allowed to continue on their way after leaving behind their excess loads.  

On June 22 a coach travelling from Belgium to Morocco crashed near the western French city of Poitiers, killing 11 people and injuring 39, 12 of them seriously.  

Failure to respect safety regulations was cited as a contributing factor in that accident.

 

© AFP

 

Subject: French news

 

 

 

 

0 Comments To This Article