Report taxi transgressions with new hotline

12 December 2011 - 12:00 By Times LIVE
File photo of a crash scene.
File photo of a crash scene.

South Africa’s National Taxi Association has started a service to report taxi transgressions.

The call centre is open from 8am to 5pm and deals with calls from road users and taxi passengers who have complaints about taxi driver behaviour.

Call centre supervisor Willie Lekaba says anyone can phone in regarding any transgressions such as overloading, bad driving, rude behaviour from taxi drivers and drunk driving.

“Any wrongdoing will be dealt with in an appropriate manner,” said Lekaba.

He said reports will be taken to management, the council and the owner of the taxi so that the driver can be investigated and penalised if necessary.

The penalty, Lekaba said, depends on the offence.

He said if it is a non-criminal offence, the driver will go for training or be dealt with in a manner the driver’s employer or taxi owner sees fit.

“If the driver is drunk or commits a criminal offence, the matter will be taken to the police.”

Road users or taxi passengers who wish to report an offence should call 0860 726 822 with the taxi’s registration, as well as the date, time and place of the offence so as to target the correct driver.

This step comes after an accident near Harrismith in the Free State, which claimed the lives of at least 30 people over the weekend.

Ten children, the youngest nine months old, were among the 28 people who died at the scene when an overloaded taxi collided with a truck.

Two people later died in Thebe district hospital in Harrismith.

Among the dead were the co-drivers of the truck and taxi.

Road Traffic Management Corporation senior manager Ashref Ismail said the 23-seater taxi, travelling from the North West to Tsolo in the Eastern Cape, was carrying 34 people. He said there was an "element" of overloading.

"It's difficult to tell because there were children on board," he said.

"It appears the taxi was either travelling at a high speed and lost control or that there was driver fatigue," he said.

The taxi apparently veered from its lane and collided with the truck, which was carrying 32 tons of lime powder, travelling from Durban to Johannesburg. The impact ripped out the front and side of the taxi, leaving the dashboard and steering wheel on top of the truck.