Counterspin: It Is Not the Passengers Who Need To Check the Documentation of the Transporters
It is not the job of the citizens to check whether all the services they use are in accordance with all the laws that exist in the country. They can neither know all this nor should they. That is why there are competent institutions that should supervise and control whether something works according to the regulations, and if that is not the case to act appropriately and sanction. In this case, the obligation of the companies that perform passenger transport is to have appropriate licenses, and the State Transport Inspectorate to check whether they comply with the law and to punish everyone for any omissions. The Customs Administration, on the other hand, mustn’t have allowed a vehicle to leave or enter the country without proper documentation. And not only once, but 135 times the same vehicle passed without a license, as the investigation established.
Author: Simona Atanasova
The government’s national coordinator for border management, Vladimir Pivovarov, pointed the finger at the citizens for the tragic bus accident in Bulgaria, in which 45 people lost their lives and 7 were injured, and he said that they also had a part of the responsibility. Pivovarov in a statement for the show “25 minutes” on 24 Vesti, said that the citizens have the same responsibility as the institutions. According to him, the citizens should have checked if the bus had a license. We assess this statement as a spin.
Spin: Did any of the passengers ask to see if the vehicle they were traveling in had an interbus license? I believe not, he said in the interview (16:08 – 16-18 from the video)
When asked by the journalist if the citizens must ask, Pivovarov answers:
we absolutely have to ask.
Counterspin: The responsibility for control of road traffic lies with the state, i.e. the institutions that are competent to establish order, and are funded by the state budget, i.e. by the citizens. Citizens rightly expect the state to take care of their safety, i.e. to ensure that everything works properly and in accordance with legal regulations.
Who has the responsibility, according to the law?
The Law on road transport is very clear and decisive. The irregularities that appeared in the investigation of the transporter “Besa Trans” are the responsibility of two institutions – the State Transport Inspectorate and the Customs Administration, which obviously allowed major irregularities to occur.
Article 81 accurately locates the responsibility in the Customs Administration, which allowed the vehicle to enter and leave the country without proper documentation.
The Customs Administration, at the border crossing, i.e. at another place where the customs supervision is performed, checks whether the domestic and foreign transporter has a license and other documents (travel log, consignment note, driver’s driving plan, license or certificate of participation of drivers in international road traffic, etc.), prescribed by this Law for performing an appropriate type of transport and whether the transporter performs the transport in accordance with those documents.
If the Customs Administration determines that a foreign or domestic transporter does not have a license in the vehicle and the other necessary documents or does not use them in the prescribed manner, it will prohibit the vehicle from entering or leaving the Republic of Macedonia.
The State Transport Inspectorate, on the other hand, failed in its supervision, i.e. to discover that the vehicle did not have an appropriate license for international transport. This is clearly seen in Articles 87 and 88 of the Law.
The inspection supervision over the application of the provisions of this Law and the regulations adopted on the basis of this Law that refer to the inter-municipal, special line passenger transport between two or more municipalities and the international transport of passengers and the transport of goods in domestic and international road traffic is performed by State Inspectorate for Transport, through state road traffic inspectors.
State road traffic inspectors supervise:
– fulfillment of the conditions for obtaining a license for inter-municipal and international transport of passengers and goods,
– the fulfillment of the special technical-exploitation conditions of the vehicles for performing certain types of transport,
– the implementation of the agreement referred to in Article 23 of this Law.
– transport of passengers in the inter-municipal road traffic,
– transport of goods in the internal road traffic,
– transport of passengers and goods in the international road traffic,
– the special line passenger transport that is performed between two or more municipalities and
– bus stations and stops.
If the state road traffic inspectors, during the inspection, determine the existence of any reason stated in Article 12 of this Law, or that the transporter does not maintain all the lines for which it has received a permit or determines that changes have occurred in terms of fulfilling the conditions on the basis of which a certain line has been approved for which a license has been issued (reduction of the number of vehicles, drivers, etc.), will submit a proposal to the Minister of Transport and Communications to make a decision to revoke the license, i.e. to permanently revoke the license and delete timetable from the timetable register.
It is not the job of the citizens to check whether all the services they use are in accordance with all the laws that exist in the country. They can neither know all this, nor should they. That is why there are competent institutions that should supervise and control whether something works according to the regulations, and if that is not the case to act appropriately and sanction.
In this case, the obligation of the companies that perform passenger transport is to have appropriate licenses, and the State Transport Inspectorate to check whether they comply with the law and to punish everyone for any omissions. The Customs Administration, on the other hand, mustn’t have allowed a vehicle to leave or enter the country without proper documentation. And not only once, but 135 times the same vehicle passed without a license, as the investigation established. Citizens, who paid for a trip and went on an excursion to another country to have a good time, have no responsibility for all these omissions. Such statements are inappropriate and disrespectful to victims and members of their families who have suffered great loss.
This article has been produced within the project Fact-Checking the Progress of North Macedonia towards the EU, implemented by the Metamorphosis Foundation. The article, originally published by Truthmeter,, is made possible by the support of the American non-profit foundation NED (National Endowment for Democracy). The content of this article is the responsibility of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views of Metamorphosis, NED or their partners.