Transmac still negotiating compensation to be handed to people left injured after Taipa accident

Transportes Urbanos de Macau S.A.R.L. (Transmac) is still negotiating the compensation to be paid to the people left injured after a bus from the company crashed into a restaurant in Taipa.

Without mentioning the exact compensation amounts, Transmac Deputy Manager, Kent Li, said today (Thursday) after a Traffic Council meeting that the compensation amounts are still being negotiated with all involved parties, including insurance company Luen Fung Hang Life Limited.

The Transmac representative avoided indicating if the company will look to contest the compensation in court.

On November 7 a Transmac public bus from its 33 route crashed into a restaurant in Rua do Regedor in Taipa after leaving the bus stop outside the Taipa Luso-Chinese School.

The accident resulted in seven people were left injured, four females and three males aged between 33 and 88, with six being passengers in the bus and one an employee in the restaurant.

The six passengers had to receive outpatient hospital treatment for contusions, lacerations and other minor injuries and have already been discharged from, while the seriously injured restaurant employee – a 33-year-old male mainland worker – underwent emergency surgery shortly after the accident due to multiple lacerations, haemorrhages and broken ribs.

The 58-year-old local bus driver was not injured and passed a breathalyser test, with authorities initially attributing the accident to a possible mechanical failure, although the bus had been in service since 2018 and passed routine maintenance late last month.

The bus and the other 14 buses that are of the same model had to undergo detailed examinations at the Transport Bureau’s vehicle inspection centre, with the bus operator having to submit a report about the accident.

The driver – which has 21 years of experience – was suspended from service and last week the Transport Bureau hinted that the preliminary report on the incident had attributed the cause of the accident to fatigue by the driver.

Questioned on the matter, the Transmac representative only stated that the bus involved in the accident showed no mechanical issues, without confirming that the driver was at fault.

“We can rule out a technical problem. It will be up to the Transport Bureau (DSAT) and Public Security Security Force to investigate the matter now […] The involved bus driver is still suspended from service and is collaborating with the investigation,” Li added.

DSAT Director Lam Hin San also underlined today that several requirements have been imposed to local bus concessionaires in order to prevent accidents, including better control of drivers’ resting periods.

This year a new six-year concession contract with bus Transmac and TCM were signed, with incident prevention and fleet renewal requirements included in the new contract extensions.

Recently the department revealed that the number of traffic accidents involving the two local bus concessionaires has decreased gradually year-by-year since 2018.

Last week Secretary for Transport and Public Works Raimundo Arrais do Rosário admitted that the average age of buses used by the operators was too high with no new buses purchased in the past two years.

According to Lam, by 2024 Transmac will have added more than 300 new buses meeting new criteria and requirements to its fleet, with TCM to add 400 more.