They speed, drink and drive, and cause havoc on the roads. Here’s why we think they’re a menace.
When it comes to travelling to and from work, most of us know that public transport is cheaper, more convenient and faster than sitting in endless hours of traffic.
But, when it comes to the safety of its passengers, are minibus taxis (which is the most popular mode of transport in Cape Town) the most reliable?
I (and I’m sure you have too) have had instances where I feared for my well-being.
Here are some dangerous taxi driver habits that I believe need to be nipped in the bud.
• Unroadworthy vehicles. Thank your lucky stars if you have never been faced with a rust covered minibus taxi, smothered in risk and reeking of disaster.
• Overloaded minibus taxis. Especially during peak hours, I understand that they are trying to cater for everyone but, squeezing in more passengers than the vehicle can handle is hazardous.
• Minibus taxi drivers who only have a learners licence. One morning while sitting calmly in a minibus taxi believing that I had nothing to worry about because the driver looked competent, I had the misfortune of being shocked with a little truth. In the middle of peak hour traffic, the driver literally jumped out of his seat and ran away after spotting traffic officials nearby. This left the rest of the passengers and I in total astonishment.
• Minibus taxis breaking the speed limit. I believe this happens mostly because taxis compete for passengers, or try to get to their destination as fast as possible and try to overtake one another.
• Drunk driving. Yes, they actually do drink and drive by masking the alcohol in an opaque water bottle. How they manage to get away with this is beyond me, but, I think this is the main reason why minibus taxis cause accidents.
A new system regulating vehicles has come under consideration where the government will put drivers on probation and require that vehicles older than 10 years go for roadworthy tests.
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This sounds like positive change, but, will this new system be implemented efficiently?
By: Gadeeja Abbas