New Legislation for All Long-Distance Taxi Trips in the Western Cape
Minister Robin Carlisle has mooted new legislation to make it compulsory for all public transport vehicles embarking on long-distance trips in excess of six hours to have two licensed drivers following reports that the driver of the minibus taxi which overturned on the N1 outside Touws River on 15 May, killing 11 people, fell sleep prior to the accident.
"I have held discussions with the South African National Taxi Council (SANTACO) about the dangers posed by long-distance minibus taxi drivers on our roads."
"It is public knowledge that many taxi drivers work on a strenuous schedule with little rest or none at all. In many cases, they are on the roads day and night throughout the week and often have to work again on weekend evenings, including driving as far as Mthatha."
"This is extremely dangerous. It is for this reason that I approached SANTACO to introduce a second driver for all long-distance minibus taxi trips. SANTACO is currently considering this proposal. However, I cannot sit idly by when innocent lives are lost and will take the regulatory route."
"As a result, my department will start preparing legislation making it compulsory to have two properly licensed drivers in all public transport vehicles for a trip in excess of six hours. All national bus companies are already doing this. And if bus companies can do this, so should the taxis. Having two drivers alternating to drive for a long-distance trip will help ensure that they both remain fit to drive throughout the duration of the trip. This will, in turn, eradicate the risk of a possible road crash due to fatigue."
"In the meantime, I will consider laying charges against the owner of the vehicle involved in this crash for violating the National Land Transport Act by transporting people for profit without a valid operating licence. It is the sole responsibility of the owner to ensure that his or her vehicles have operating licences before they can operate. So he or she has must face the wrath of law for this."