Taxi drivers receive defensive driving certificates
Today, 17 August 2016, 13 taxi drivers who successfully completed accredited defensive driving training received certificates of competence at a ceremony held in Bellville.
The training was presented by the Department of Transport and Public Works in partnership with the South African National Taxi Council (SANTACO) Western Cape. The week-long course is accredited by the Local Government Sector Education and Training Authority (LGSETA), and took place at the Gene Louw Traffic College in Brackenfell. It is expected to improve the driving of targeted public transport operators and reduce the risk of crashes, injuries and deaths.
After the training was complete, the driving of the trainees was assessed. Those who met the requirements received a Level 5 NQF (National Qualification Authority) certificate, which constitutes six credits towards a further qualification. The advanced driving skills in the training included:
- vehicle dynamics,
- techniques to avoid road crashes, and
- techniques to improve driving.
Danny Joseph, Training Officer at SANTACO Western Cape, says this was a good initiative to encourage good road safety habits among taxi drivers.
“There has been a strong emphasis on driver and vehicle compliance to improve road safety, and we’re confident we will reach more drivers in future. We want to change the perception that all taxi drivers behave negligently and recklessly on our roads. This is a step in the right direction,” said Joseph.
Taxi driver Riza Ismael from Retreat says the course was valuable.
“It focused on the habits that we take for granted as taxi drivers. This broadened our awareness and brought us back on good terms with traffic law enforcement authorities. It is our responsibility to lead by example and practise safe driving habits,” he said.
Jacqueline Rhamatoola, a taxi driver from Goodwood, found the training empowering.
“As a female driver, there were key aspects of vehicle fitness that I did not know about. This training helped me to be on alert for potential danger on our roads. We are accountable for ensuring that commuters arrive at their destinations safely,” she said.
Mcebisi Dyasi, a taxi driver from Khayelitsha says a crash can happen so quickly, and with devastating consequences.
“Many crashes involving taxi drivers occur as a result of negligence and speeding. We are always in a hurry because we must make money and we operate in a competitive environment, but this could lead to crashes. This course had a positive influence on me, and emphasised that safety comes first,” he said.
The Department will continue to work closely with SANTACO Western Cape and other taxi associations to help improve road safety in the province.