Death trap taxi impounded

2011-10-21 00:00

NO brakes, no shock absorbers, all four tyres worn out, the steering mechanism totally damaged and the seats loose.

These are some of the faults found in a taxi that was carrying seven children from school yesterday.

The driver of the taxi was stopped by traffic officers at Alexandra Road.

“This is one of the worst vehicles we’ve impounded,” said Principal Provincial Inspector Zani Mohamed.

On top of that the driver, known to The Witness, does not possess a professional driving permit (PDP), his vehicle had no licence disc, and the speedometer was broken and the undercarriage rusted.

“When two officers stopped the vehicle and realised it was unroadworthy we then transferred the children to another taxi so they could arrive at their homes safely,” said Mohamed.

October is national public transport month and the Road Traffic Inspectorate (RTI) officers are to be seen on roads throughout Pietermaritzburg making sure that the drivers of buses and taxis comply with the rules.

Mohamed said the initiative was started at the beginning of the month and they have impound about 15 unroadworthy vehicles every day.

The driver’s fine amounted to about R3 400 and his taxi was towed to a place of repair because it could not be driven.

“The message is simple: we want public transport to comply because they carry children.

“They carry lives and breadwinners,” Mohamed stressed.

One of the officers at the scene said the taxi was weaving on the road. She said he told her that “he receives lots of pressure from the parents to transport their children to school”.

“I don’t think the vehicle is repairable,” the principal inspector added.

According to reports from the KwaZulu-Natal transport department, since April this year more than 1 300 people have been killed in 732 accidents in the province.

• gabisile.ngcobo@witness.co.za

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