Minister Carlisle to Meet Taxi Industry after Horrific N1 and N7 Crashes
Robin Carlisle, the Minister for Transport and Public Works in the Western Cape, has said that he will request a meeting with the leadership of the South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) in the Western Cape after the horrific N1 and N7 taxi crashes.
"Watching the CCTV footage of the N1 crash involving two taxis and a truck has left me cold. After spending 20 minutes watching trucks, buses and taxis carefully passing the truck, which had its hazards flashing, what struck me was the speed at which the two taxis were travelling, and how closely the second taxi was following the first."
The minister said that his earlier claim that the taxis were speeding and that the second taxi driver was chasing the first "have now been borne out by the evidence".
"Following the horrific crash involving another taxi on the N7 this morning, I am going to request a meeting with Santaco Chairperson Vernon Billet and his executive. If this kind of driver negligence continues unchallenged, it has the potential to push back some of the gains we have made in the Safely Home campaign, which we simply cannot allow."
The Safely Home campaign has led to a 23% reduction in road fatalities since its launch in 2009.
The minister said that a preliminary investigation of the CCTV footage of the N1 crash revealed the following:
- It appears both taxis were travelling at excessive speed in the last ten metres before impact, even though by then they had probably applied brakes, the second taxi more so than the first.
- The taxis were well under 1.5 seconds apart, a following distance that made preventive action for the second taxi all but impossible.
- The drivers were probably driving aggressively, with the second taxi trying to overtake and the leading taxi not wanting to be overtaken.
- It is possible the second taxi had his brights on in an effort to force the leading taxi driver to slow down to make way for him.
"All of these factors explain the resultant horrific deaths, pain and suffering on the morning of 15 November 2011. Once again, driver negligence has led to the deaths of almost 20 people."
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