WHAT CAN BE DONE? A Wheels24 reader is concerned about the dangers unroadworthy taxis pose to passengers and other road users. Image: YouTube
Cape Town - Taxis behaving badly are a sad reality of driving on South African roads yet inconsiderate behaviour is considered 'normal'.
Earlier in 2016 Wheels24 published several articles from readers with examples of bad taxi driver behaviour.
Wheels24 reader Trino shares his thoughts on taxis in Durban:
WATCH: Taxis behaving badly in Cape Town: Why is this 'normal' behaviour?
I write this letter hoping that somebody will pursue an article on road safety in terms of public transport since the Festive season is approaching.
I live in Durban and have used public transport for over 10 years. In any taxi association there are taxis that are not fit to be used as transportation for people. I will list some of the problems with such taxis:
1. Defective braking systems that cause a driver to use his gears to slow down the taxi.
2. Faulty door mechanisms.
3. Badly rusted, unstable older taxis.
4. A very DANGEROUS trend I have noticed is taxis are those with leaking exhaust systems and not enough engine insulation that causes carbon monoxide to enter the taxi cabin.
5.Loose and broken seats amongst many other unroadworthy features.
This is going on for years, so what is the Department of Transport, Metro Police and the various taxi associations doing about it?
READ: 7 ways mini-bus taxis make driving in Cape Town incredibly dangerous
I understand that for the drivers and owners of taxis it is their livelihood but how can we make a compromise?
Whenever these taxis get impounded their drivers go on strikes demanding the release of these dangerous vehicles.
What do you think should be done to curb taxi-related road deaths in SA? Email us
More readers respond
Philip Spies from Joburg says: "I have seen taxis do all of the above in full view of metro police without being stopped. Other drivers have now started copying this behavior as well.
"I suspect that metro police are either afraid to stop taxis, or they are given "lunch money" by the Taxi Associations not to notice the violations?"
Lawrence Swanson says: "My impression is that traffic law enforcement in Cape Town and surrounds is poor and limited to using cameras to trap speeding vehicles; road blocks (other than at night) to check vehicles licences and taxi route compliance; and checking of over loaded vehicles at weighbridges. Traffic law enforcement should be much more than this."
Western Cape emergency services spokesperson Robert Daniels spoke to Wheels24 about the prevalence of taxi crashes.
Daniels said: "We have vehicle crashes everyday, what makes taxis different is that they are seldom roadworthy. None of the passenger's on board is ever buckled up.
"There is a complete disregard for safety and the value of human life inside a taxi. When a taxi is involved in a motor vehicle crash, you can have upwards of 20 people injured.
READ: 6 ways mini-bus taxis make driving in Gauteng dangerous
He said: "A typical vehicle crash can have four to six people involved. As soon as you had a taxi into that equation becomes a much more."
He said: "A vehicle service takes an owner's money-making tool off the road for a few days. They (taxi drivers) don't expect us to understand how that's even possible because it brings in money every single day."