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7 ways mini-bus taxis make driving in Cape Town incredibly dangerous

2016-09-21 11:52

Lawrence Swanson

LAWLESS ROAD USERS: Reader Lawrence Swanson shares his experiences with lawless road users in Cape Town. Have you experienced similar instances of reckless bevaviour on SA's roads?Image: YouTube / News24


Another day, another clip of taxi drivers disregarding the rules of the road in SA. Watch as taxi driver uses the BRT lane and skip a red light while another drives recklessly through an intersection in Cape Town.

Cape Town - On Wednesday, Wheels24 published a clip showing a  taxi driver driving recklessly in Cape Town.

Taxis behaving badly are a sad reality of driving on our roads yet the question remains - Why is the beviour considered 'normal'?

Wheels24 reader Lawrence Swanson shares his opinion and experiences of poor law enforcement as well as reckless driving experienced in Cape Town and the Western Cape.

Reader 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. 

On a daily basis I witness taxis and other vehicles passing vehicles on the shoulder of the road, passing through red lights, overtaking and changing lanes on solid white lines, ignoring lane directions i.e left only, right only etc; travelling in the right hand lanes on freeways at speeds lower than the legal limit and then refusing to move for approaching vehicles, blocking traffic light intersections, ignoring stop signs etc.

18 months, two incidents caught

Despite these many and obvious traffic violations (and in the context that I spend an average of two hours each day driving on our roads) I have seen only two of the offences mentioned being brought to book by a traffic official in the past 18 months! The converse is true. On a number of occasions I have seen traffic officials in marked vehicles ignoring blatant traffic transgressions in their presence.

WATCH: Taxis behaving badly in Cape Town: Why is this 'normal' behaviour?

This is particularly true if they appear to be on their way to work or have finished officially for the day. (And they too seem to think that they are above the law at around 6am in the morning as they head in the direction of Gallows Hill at speeds way in excess of the speed limit!). Little wonder motorists ignore them.

An added frustration is the wasted time spent driving in traffic daily due to poor law enforcement. As an example many millions were spent on the 'Hospital Bend' upgrade incoming on the N2 highway.

The benefits have been almost totally negated by vehicles travelling in the wrong lanes; crossing over barrier lines; and forcing their way into the Settlers Way lanes in the direction of thee N2 causing massive traffic congestion.

Daily experiences

1. Taxis ignoring the road direction markers at the intersection of the Buitengracht St and Helen Susman Boulevard and turning right towards Sea Point at the traffic lights in lanes clearly marked as ‘straight’ only. (And this less than 500 meters from the Gallows Hill traffic centre!)

2. Stopping under “No Stopping ‘ signs on the Helen Susman Boulevard in the direction of Sea Point.

3. Total disregard of orange lights (which are treated in the same manner as green lights)  on the Okavango Road in Brakenfell in the direction of Fisantekraal. As a result many vehicles pass through the intersections with the lights either turning or on red. This seems particularly true if the vehicle has a registration starting with “CF…”

4. Taxis in great numbers passing on the left hand shoulder of Nelson Mandela Boulevard in the evenings in the direction of Wynberg and forcing their way into the slow moving traffic further compounding the delay problem for law abiding motorists.

5. Taxis and other vehicles in vast numbers switching from the extreme right hand lane on Hospital Bend across solid white barrier lines and forcing their way into the lanes heading towards the N2. This causes even more mayhem, congestion and extreme frustration.

6. Taxis, in particular, driving on the shoulder of the road on the M5 towards Wynberg in the evenings (between the Berkley Road on ramp and the N2 off ramp).

7. Blocking on the intersection at Christian Barnard and Herzog Boulevard by vehicles both in the morning but particularly in the evenings.

Have you experienced poor law enforcement or lawless motorists in SA? Email us or get in touch via Facebook and Twitter.

These are some examples of my personal daily experience. It suggests that the problem is massive. Given this background I am not surprised that our road deaths are among the highest in the world.

WATCH: SA taxi driver meets his match, an oke in a bakkie

Given too technology available these days ie cameras, phones etc I am surprised these problems are not seriously addressed. The will seems to be lacking.

I suggest a change in top traffic law management in the Western Cape is long overdue!

Do you have any experiences with poor law enforcement or lawless road users? Email us or get in touch via Facebook and Twitter.

Read more on:    cape town  |  reckless driving  |  taxi

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