Why I did it: ‘It really just boiled my blood’‚ says motorbike rider who confronted errant taxi driver
A taxi driver crashed into his mom's car after skipping a red traffic light‚ but it was general lawlessness rather than this specific incident that made a motorbike rider challenge a Bryanston taxi driver when he drove into oncoming traffic this week.
"It really just boiled my blood to see that and I thought 'let me do something about it'. I was so angry with the situation and I thought that in a country where there is complacency with breaking the law‚ I thought I could try to make a difference‚ even with one person‚" said Sean Nysschen.
"There was an underlying sense of fear because they thrive on intimidation and bullying and that is why motorists do not do anything to them [reckless taxi drivers]‚" said Nysschen.
A video taken from a camera mounted on his helmet captured the confrontation he had with the taxi driver on Monday afternoon.
Nysschen‚ who has been using his bike to travel to work for the past six years‚ says‚ sadly‚ this wasn't the first time that he has had to deal with a lawbreaking motorist.
Last month‚ he confronted another motorist in Midrand.
"I confronted the guy and he told me that he was going to shoot me‚" said Nysschen.
Again‚ he caught that on camera.
When Nysschen started driving with the camera mounted on his helmet‚ he did so in order to ensure that should he ever be involved in an accident‚ there would be evidence of what would have gone wrong.
But over the years‚ he has captured some terrible behaviour on the road.
"You get to see what goes on... From people on their cellphones‚ to motorists crossing white solid lines. I have footage of me being side-swiped by a motorist‚" Nysschen said.
In Nysschen's famous footage from earlier this week‚ a minibus taxi driver is seen flagrantly driving into oncoming traffic to avoid peak hour congestion and Nysschen stopping him in his tracks‚ reading him the riot act.
Nysschen was travelling along Sloane Street in Bryanston when he had to brake abruptly to avoid hitting the oncoming minibus.
The taxi stops‚ reverses a couple of metres and tries to sneak past Nysschen‚ who is having none of it. The minibus driver throws his hands in the air.
“Where the f*ck do you think you’re going?” the biker asks.
“Sorry‚ my brother‚ sorry‚” the taxi driver replies.
“Where the f*ck do you think you’re going? F*ck you‚” the biker says.
They continue to exchange words for a couple of minutes. “Go back‚” the biker says‚ repeatedly pointing a gloved finger in the opposite direction.
The taxi‚ at first‚ cheekily tries again to manoeuvre its way around the motorcycle but is blocked every time.
“My clutch is out of order‚” the taxi driver says later on‚ as he pleads with the biker.
Later on a car pulls up next to the motorcycle‚ blocking off the other lane‚ and the motorist inside tells the taxi driver: “You should never drive on the wrong side of the road. You put other people’s lives in danger.”
The taxi eventually retreats‚ in reverse‚ until it gets an opportunity to merge with congested traffic in the correct lane.
The Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD) confirmed that the taxi driver had been tracked down‚ charged with reckless and negligent driving and detained at the Sandton police station.
Nysschen said he had since been contacted by the JMPD to give his statement on the matter.
On social media‚ many people praised Nysschen for his bravery but a few said he had put himself in harm's way.
Through the assistance of an #ActiveCitizen of @CityofJoburgZA a taxi driver who was captured on camera driving facing oncoming traffic in #Bryanston has been arrested by @JMPDSafety officers;— Joburg Public Safety (@CoJPublicSafety) October 10, 2018
he has been charged with Reckless & Negligent driving.#BuyaMthetho#SaferJoburg pic.twitter.com/wKegdR9n11
Nysschen's father‚ Jan‚ who also saw the footage‚ said while he was proud of his son‚ he also feared for his safety.
"Some of these people carry weapons and now they could looking out for him‚" Jan Nysschen said.
He said his wife‚ Wendy‚ had been involved in an accident involving a taxi driver in Edenvale last month.
Her vehicle was hit on the side‚ leaving her with whiplash and a bruised rib.
Her vehicle was a write-off‚ he added in a comment on his son's Facebook video share.
But his son maintains that his confrontation with the taxi driver had nothing to do with his mother's ordeal. Instead‚ he told TimesLIVE‚ he was fed up with lawlessness in general.
"What irritates me is that he puts the lives of his passengers in danger and they have no say. What I have been told before is that the taxi driver tells them to shut up or get out‚" said Nysschen.
Asked how the passengers in the taxi had reacted to the incident‚ Nysschen said when he looked at the video‚ he could see that some female passengers seated directly behind the driver had been shouting during the confrontation.
It was unclear whether they were shouting at him or the taxi driver‚ he said.
Nysschen‚ who said he had no idea that his footage would go viral‚ said if anything‚ he wished the JMPD would have a platform where bikers with cameras could upload footage of the incidents they captured.
He said this could be useful as law-breaking and negligent driving did not always occur in areas where traffic officers were stationed.
"We could assist them in catching infringements on the move‚" he said.
- Additional reporting by Nico Gous