Today a gas carrying truck fell on the road side, overturned, released gasoline which quickly found a spark. Apparently at least one kilometer of the Panamerican highway between Los Teques and Caracas burst into flames killing 12 passengers in a bus and a driver in a car, 16 to 20 people were hurt and a few survived because they threw themselves into the bushes down hill until they reached help. Apparently the public services from cops to fireman were on site as early as possible. All the Los Teques to Salias area was cut off from Caracas for several hours.
I am not writing to comment on the accident but to wonder how come such disasters are not more frequent. Surely we must be a country of exceptional drivers to be able to deal with all the obstacles that exist today in Venezuelan roads:
- Pot holes everywhere
- Gigantic pot holes more often than what you think, even in highways.
- Almost nonexistent Highway police except in "alcabalas" which are usually Nazional guard affairs where trucks are stopped and found deficient on this or that so that they bribe the Nazional Guard to keep driving.
- Highways which have become mere boulevards as the regime has allowed for so many squatters to settle on the side of Highways. I let you imagine how these people cross the way as if nothing, ignoring that cars are SUPPOSED to drive at 80 km per hour.
- No speed control anywhere and thus cars and trucks which can drive at ABOVE 80 km/h, no one bothering them. I let you imagine the effect on cars and traffic of cars falling at 80 in a deep pothole....
- No car or truck inspection whatsoever except for their paperwork. At night you simply cannot drive anymore because too many trucks and cars do not bother to replace their position lights.
- Crime which operates a lot at night when they put nails on the road to force people to stop and then rob them. This also happens on day time and trucks can then be looted while they are stuck in traffic jam caused by the looters.
- And all sorts of additional inconveniences such as unmarked roads, rare direction signs, lack of decent service joints because crime forces them to shut down or degrade their offer, etc, etc.....
So it is quite possible that today's accident is solely the fault of the driver of the PDVSA truck, but no matter what, the regime takes the blame because it needs to answer the following the questions:
- Was the driver of a gas truck properly trained?
. Was the truck duly inspected and certified for its brakes and emergency equipment?
- Was the Panamerican road in good enough shape that a driving bomb could use it?
- How come that truck was driving at that time of day (2 PM) when it should be driving at less crowded hours (5 AM)?
So yes, the driver will be arraigned but the one that should be arraigned is Chavez because it is his fault to refuse to invest in road security because it does not give him votes. Period.