The buses of the new public transport company covering Nicosia and Larnaca are set to be placed under the microscope of the departments of road transport and electrical and mechanical services, after several accidents and the death of one bus driver were recorded since the new buses began making the rounds on July 5.
Specifically, the new buses of the company Cyprus Public Transport (CPT) were recently involved three road accidents that appeared similar in nature and which caused only material damage. In one occasion, the bus began reversing without there being a driver at the wheel, with the bus hitting a wall and coming to a halt.
The concerning series of incidents culminated in the tragic death of a bus driver for the company on July 31 in the Makedonitissa area of Nicosia. The driver was crushed by the bus, with authorities claiming he had forgotten to lift the handbrake.
Though police attributed the death to human error, the fatality drove the minister of transport Yiannis Karousos to launch a probe into whether any fault may lie with the company’s buses.
The probe is expected to focus on the differences between the older and newer systems used by bus drivers, and will look into whether drivers received adequate training on the newer buses.
Speaking to Kathimerini Cyprus, the transport ministry’s scientific associate Christos Papamichael said that on July 22 all government authorities involved in the probe inspected the older buses that were previously used before CPT took over the reins, and compared these with the newer buses, noting down differences in their safety systems among other things.
According to the CEO of Cyprus Public Transport, Julio Tironi, so far three exhaustive training sessions have covered the training needs of all drivers.
“In these mini seminars, in addition to talks and practical training on safety, we also offer specific guidelines. The seminars also featured specific training on the use of the handbrake. Our drivers have already completed 1,000 hours of training, which was intensified after the fatality,” Tironi said.