Driver Education and Awareness in Gugulethu
On 20 July 2015, the Department of Transport and Public Works will be hosting a driver education and awareness event from 10:00 at the Gugulethu taxi rank. Participating drivers will learn more about safe driving habits and vehicle safety. Over time, better driving in safer vehicles is expected to reduce the number of passenger and pedestrian injuries and road traffic fatalities in the Western Cape. This initiative will contribute to the overall goal of a reliable, safe and comfortable public transport system which responds appropriately to the needs of its users.
Stakeholders supporting the event include:
- City of Cape Town Traffic Services.
- Gugulethu SAPS (South African Police Service).
- Child Safe South Africa.
- Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC).
- South African National Taxi Council (SANTACO).
- Road Accident Fund (RAF).
- Recycling and Economic Development Initiative of South Africa (REDISA).
- SANRAL (the South African National Roads Agency).
Partners will be distributing road safety pamphlets and disposable alcohol breath testing equipment on the day.
The absolute number of minibus taxi-related fatalities has been on the decline since 2010. The Western Cape Government and the City of Cape Town vigorously impounds taxis found to be unroadworthy, or operating in violation of the conditions of their operating licences. The Department also conducts ongoing fatigue management operations on all major routes to and from the Eastern Cape. Drivers judged to be too tired are required to rest for a minimum of two hours before they are allowed to proceed on their journeys.
Working Better Together
The Department has a very good relationship with SANTACO which helps it to get the cooperation of taxi owners for its road safety work. According to Provincial Traffic Chief Kenny Africa, “Our officers are in full force on a 24/7 basis to attend to vehicle fitness, driver fitness and overloading. Our officers won’t think twice about impounding any public transport vehicle, should it be necessary.”
Africa added that it is very important to educate all road users to create greater awareness of road safety, especially pedestrians, who account for the highest percentage of road traffic fatalities.
“Pedestrians should be educated on how to use public roads and always be on the alert to the vehicles moving around them,” he said.
The Department appeals to all road users to follow the rules, and to set an example of responsible behaviour at all times.