Lawless taxi drivers are putting lives at risk

Charles Buchanan, Capri

I live in Capri and travel extensively around the valley, dropping kids at school, going to meetings and chasing waves.

Recently I’ve noticed that the minibus taxi drivers have upped their game on how to defy the traffic laws. They have taken their level of defiance to a new and alarmingly dangerous level. In Capri, we are all schooled in counting to at least three before exiting the suburb on a green traffic light to account for taxis racing to and fro through a red light on Kommetjie Road.

There have already been several accidents at this intersection, but I guess the authorities won’t do anything until a few people die. Taxis are also using the left-turn-only lane to undertake each other at speed before ducking back into the traffic at the last second. It’s only a matter of time before one of these muppets gets it wrong and causes a major pile up.

The new and more dangerous tactic being deployed by the taxi fraternity is that they are now racing through a traffic-light intersection midway through the red phase. I’ve seen this happen at the Capri intersection, the intersection near Longbeach Mall and, very scarily, at the intersection of Kommetjie Road and Ou Kaapseweg. On the latter occasion, the taxi, crammed full of commuters, was almost T-Boned by a truck that was racing down from Glencairn. Metres away from carnage.

Now I don’t give a damn about the law-breaking taxi drivers. The lives of innocent commuters, my family and friends are at stake.

I would love to know whether the traffic services/law enforcement are aware of these transgressions of the law and what is being done to counter this behaviour. I would also like to know what the Fish Hoek, Masiphumelele and Ocean View taxi associations are doing to protect the lives of their clientele, the commuters and other road users.

We put up with taxi drivers driving aggressively cutting us off, swearing at and intimidating our wives, disobeying basic rules, but what we can’t do is stand by and let them kill people in our own neighbourhoods. It’s time for authorities to clamp down.

• Richard Coleman, spokesman for City Traffic Services, responds: The Traffic Service Transport Enforcement Unit issued 71 fines and impounded three taxis during the past three months in the said area.

Traffic officers enforce the relevant road-safety by-laws across the metropole subject to operational capacity.

The City’s Traffic Service will follow up on complaints. Residents and motorists can report any traffic transgression by phoning 021 480 7700 from a cellphone and 107 from a landline

• The Echo was unable to reach the Fish Hoek, Masiphumelele and Ocean View taxi associations by time of going to print.