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6 things you should know about taxi drivers

2014-04-11 08:38



CLAMPDOWN ON TAXI BOSSES: Wheels24 reader Neil van Rooyen believes that taxi owners/bosses are to blame for the reckless behaviour of their drivers. Image: SAPA

Earlier on April 7 2014, Wheels24 reported that more than 20 people were injured when three taxis collided in Diepsloot, Johannesburg.

Wheels24 editor LES STEPHENSON said it‘s an appalling indictment of national and provincial governments' continuing failure to manage and monitor public service vehicles'  (read buses and taxis)- maintenance and the behaviour of their drivers.


Wheels24 reader NEIL VAN ROOYEN shares his thoughts on Taxi drivers and owners in South Africa:

Telling it like it is (at least from what I've heard through the 'Taxi' grapevine). I've been catching taxis for about 15 - 20 years and this is what I have experienced.

6 things you should know about taxi drivers:

1 Taxi owners DO NOT drive their own taxis, they lease/rent it indefinitely.
2 Taxi owners require a set amount daily/weekly/monthly!
3 Whatever the taxi driver makes over and above that amount is his.
4 It is up to the driver to ensure that the vehicle is 'driveable'.
5 Taxi owners won't spend money to fix the taxi. If it can move, it's fine. If it does not move, they will sell it and get another (read: second-hand).
6 A taxi owner can have anywhere from 1 - 20 (maybe more taxis).


I watched an episode of 3rd Degree where presenter Deborah Patta asked taxi drivers 'Why are they such bad drivers and why they stopped wherever they pleased?‘ the response from most drivers was: "It's the passengers, the passengers say where they want to get off, and that's where they stop."

Passengers are not solely responsible. Yes, passengers, do request to be dropped at a specific stop, but the taxi driver can still insist on stopping in a safer spot as many do. They're not all bad!

The main cause for reckless driving is to make a buck as they have to meet a quota for the day - 99% of the culprits are the taxi owners (bosses). If you clamp down on them, crashes  and recklessness will decline; taxi drivers need to earn a wage/salary not commission.

Drivers are being treated like slaves and as a result don't care about their passengers. Loss of a life is seen as just collateral damage.

Food for thought - Cops can't do anything about it. If they arrest someone they're out the next/same day, so why bother? Cops accept bribes because they are being treated the same way by their superiors.


Since 1994/5, it's been every every man/woman for him/herself. It's a game of greed, survival and territory.

We were taught at school that the law says that pedestrians have right of way when entering/crossing a road. Pre-94/5', cars stopped mid-turn to allow pedestrians to cross.This isn't the case today!

No, today, pedestrians run like hell or wait before running across a road like a jack rabbit. Pedestrians risk their lives on a daily basis.

Even when a pedestrian is already off the curb and crossing, cars will come around a corner hooting for the pedestrian to get out the way. Government needs to seriously clamp down on the traffic Industry.

Wheels24 reader James Coveney responded:

“As a driver it is like walking a tight rope on South African roads. Taxi drivers drive at high-speed in residential areas, they dart in and out of the traffic without indicating.

“I have seen traffic officers turn a blind eye to serious traffic offences caused by taxi drivers. Government have not put any legislation in place to curb this problem.

“Many people are killed and maimed ever day and most of these crashes are caused by taxis. It has become the norm to accept this behaviour and as long as we continue to do so no action will be taken.”

Email us and we'll publish your thoughts on Wheels24.

Read more on:    south africa  |  taxis  |  ugc  |  reader  |  your wheels

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