Get traf­fic cops on the roads

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE -

YOUR cor­re­spon­dents, Dr Ach­mat Dya­son of the Minibus Taxi In­dus­try Task Team (“Wrong way to get tough”), Basil Nagel (“City should work with taxi in­dus­try, not en­force curbs”), and Ge­off Har­ris (“Taxis not solely to blame”) are cor­rect about coun­cil­lor JP Smith, who holds the safety and se­cu­rity port­fo­lio in the City of Cape Town, and Don­ald Grant, the MEC of Trans­port and Pub­lic Works, who promised tougher mea­sures to clamp down on the taxi in­dus­try as re­ported in Week­end Ar­gus, Oc­to­ber 28 (“City gets tough on taxis”).

Smith and Grant are liv­ing in La La Land if they think the mea­sures they are propos­ing will help to stop law­less taxi drivers.

What use is it im­pound­ing taxis or is­su­ing more fines, which prob­a­bly don’t get paid any­way?

How­ever, nei­ther Nagel, who pro­fesses to be a taxi guru, judg­ing by the num­ber of opin­ion pieces he sub­mits to your sis­ter ti­tles, nor Dya­son ad­dress the most im­por­tant is­sue: the law­less­ness of many taxi drivers.

Nagel is al­ways plead­ing for the city coun­cil to work with the minibus drivers. I have never read any­thing from him in which he im­plores the taxi drivers to obey the law and work with the mu­nic­i­pal­ity.

He posed the ques­tion: Is it greed or an in­dus­try op­er­at­ing in sur­vival mode? The an­swer is greed.

How many times have we heard that the drivers have to get in as many trips as pos­si­ble in a shift to please their own­ers, and to earn their daily crust? Dya­son makes much the same ar­gu­ment and both writ­ers agree that pub­lic trans­port is the na­tional gov­ern­ment’s re­spon­si­bil­ity which is del­e­gated to prov­inces. But most peo­ple be­lieve that the province(s) and the city coun­cil are lack­adaisi­cal when it comes to law en­force­ment.

Mem­bers of the traf­fic depart­ment think speed traps and hold­ing road blocks at peak hours equals law en­force­ment. It isn’t; it just ir­ri­tates law-abid­ing ci­ti­zens.

Your other writer, Ge­off Har­ris, is cor­rect when he says the taxi in­dus­try is not solely to blame. Other road users also be­have stupidly and reck­lessly, en­dan­ger­ing oth­ers’ lives.

Vis­i­ble polic­ing is the an­swer, not more laws, es­pe­cially not when the ex­ist­ing ones can­not be en­forced.

Put the cops back on their mo­tor­bikes and let them pa­trol the high­ways and by­ways.

They would have a field day on Koe­berg Road, start­ing at Paar­den Is­land and Blaauw­berg Road in Ta­ble View, ev­ery day of the week, es­pe­cially at week­ends.

Those two roads would be ex­cel­lent money-earn­ers for the City of Cape Town, so much so they would be able to em­ploy more traf­fic cops.

PIC­TURE: WILLEM LAW

More vis­i­ble polic­ing will make minibus taxi drivers obey the rules of the road, not more laws, says the writer.

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