No traffic control

A letter from a reader.

John Butterworth, Simon’s Town

I have been living above Boulders Beach for four years and constantly see taxis speeding between Murdock Valley and Simon’s Town, particularly in the morning.

They overtake on blind corners, ignore road rules and generally display arrogance and disdain for other road users.

The purpose of this letter is to highlight the absence of any law enforcement whatsoever.

Where are the traffic police? The 7 Penguins shop attracts schoolchildren from across the road. I have seen them scatter before a speeding taxi. Are we going to wait until a group of them get killed by these reckless drivers?

Where are the traffic officers?

This really reflects the lack of management visible across many official departments, both nationally and locally.

Who is responsible for zero patrolling on the roads?

I suspect that when challenged with this, the authorities will respond with the tired old bleat of insufficient resources.

That is unacceptable. Learn how to manage what you have efficiently.

  • Richard Coleman, spokesman for the City’s traffic service, responds:

The City is aware of complaints about inconsiderate driving by some taxi operators.

Unfortunately, this is a problem city-wide.

The City’s traffic service tries its utmost to patrol as many problem areas as possible. Unfortunately it is virtually impossible to ensure a sustained presence in one hot spot area, due to the demands on the service and the fact that we simply do not have the resources to be present everywhere, all of the time.

The City’s enforcement agencies conduct as much enforcement on the roads as resources allow.

We have increased our taxi impounds year-on-year, but vehicles are simply reclaimed.

We need stronger legislation that will allow for the permanent impoundment of the vehicles of repeat offenders if we are to make any meaningful change on our roads.

The City’s traffic service has regular operations in the area concerned.

We are not able to station traffic officers permanently at every traffic light, crossing and hot spot. However, traffic officers will service this area on an ad hoc basis.

In just one day last week, traffic officers fined four drivers for having unlicensed vehicles, five for driving without a seatbelt, one for being an unlicensed driver and four for disregarding a stop sign.

It is also pertinent to note that speeding and reckless and negligent driving are driver behaviours that the City works hard to change, but unfortunately the statistics show that very little has changed in this regard – in spite of increased enforcement efforts.

We encourage residents to report any transgressions to the traffic service at 021 596 1999.