Road Safety through Education and Awareness
Minibus taxi drivers were encouraged to adopt safe driving habits and vehicle safety during an education and awareness event hosted by the Department of Transport and Public Works at the Gugulethu taxi rank on 20 July 2015.
Various stakeholders in the transport industry supported the event. On the day, road safety representatives engaged with drivers, passengers and pedestrians on road safety, and shared valuable information through road safety pamphlets. Participating drivers were also given a demonstration on how to use disposable alcohol breath testing equipment, which emphasises the Department’s #BoozeFreeRoads road safety theme for August 2015.
Road Safety Officer at the Department, Anthony September, says many drivers welcomed the information.
“Drivers and passengers were urged to take personal responsibility when getting into a minibus taxi vehicle; to always wear seat belts because it’s a legal requirement; not to drink and drive; and to be on the lookout for pedestrians. All road users should exercise caution, common sense and take all basic safety measures,” said September.
Taxi driver, Ncuba Maswana, is appreciative of the Department’s positive efforts to increase road safety education by focusing on various important safety elements.
“I found the disposable alcohol breath testing equipment very interesting, as well as informative. I believe that such interventions potentially make a difference in driver behaviour,” said Maswana.
Unfortunately, minibus taxis continue to demonstrate poor driving habits. It is all too common for motorists to experience reckless or aggressive road use by a minibus taxi practically every day. Many people see lawless behaviour among minibus taxi drivers as a symptom of a wider breakdown of law and order. The perception that the authorities turn a blind eye is widespread, even though the City of Cape Town impounds more than 2 000 minibus taxis each year for a variety of offences; that is more than five minibus taxis per day. Engagement with, and support of, the industry is ongoing.
The Department is confident that improved driver behaviour and safer vehicles will reduce the number of passenger and pedestrian injuries, as well as road traffic fatalities on Western Cape roads. Similar events will be hosted in targeted areas through the Department’s road safety calendar, which will contribute to the overall goal of a reliable, safe and comfortable public transport system which responds appropriately to the needs of its users.
The Department appeals to all road users to follow the rules, and to set an example of responsible behaviour at all times.