The intercity transport company Touristique Express, whose bus was recently involved in a fatal road accident, has been suspended for 15 days, Transport Minister (Mintransports) Jean Ernest Masséna Ngalle Bibehe announces. In a press release issued on August 16, the government official announced that the company had been sanctioned for "serious violations of road traffic regulations which led to the death of 9 people in the accident that occurred on August 9, 2023" at the Mbé cliff in the Adamaoua region.
"Preliminary investigations reveal that this accident was the result of speeding, which led to the loss of control and the overturning of the bus with registration number LT 456 HK, driven by Issa Ousmanou," the release states. In a press release issued on Wednesday, Touristique Express announced the cessation of its passenger road transport service following the decision of the Ministry of Transport. "Service will resume as soon as the suspension is lifted," says the company, which controls most of the passenger transport market between the north and south of the country.
This latest traffic accident comes three months after another at the same location, which officially claimed 15 lives. Following this accident, Mintransports suspended Touristique Express for a month, before lifting the suspension a few days later. To explain the suspension lift, Jean Ernest Masséna Ngalle Bibehe stated that the company had given assurances that road safety measures would be respected to avoid further fatal accidents.
In his latest release, Mintransports also criticized the company for "failing to implement" the measures it had prescribed, and to which Touristique Express had committed itself following the fatal traffic accident last May. The official also ordered "the immobilization of all buses not equipped with the centralized intercity transport management and monitoring system until the said system is installed.” This system, known as "Ym@ne driver", equips the vehicle with four video surveillance cameras connected to the control room of the Secretariat of State for Defense (Sed) and to the General Delegation for National Security (DGSN), enabling police forces to quickly and effectively intervene if necessary.
According to the Ministry of Transport, the system controls drivers' biometrics, geolocates intercity vehicles, and monitors the vehicle's external and internal environment using on-boarded smart cameras. The aim is to check both the internal and external environment of the vehicle that is equipped with the system. On September 16, 2022, Mintransports invited transport company promoters to sign up for this system, which was presented as the solution to "drastically reduce" road accidents.
Patricia Ngo Ngouem