Taxi safety just an SMS away

2014-11-04 00:00

A NEW SMS service will see taxi drivers thinking twice before being negligent on our roads.

Give Life Projects Taxi Campaign has launched the SMS service “Wiser Driver” allowing passengers to complain about bad driving by simply using the USSD string (*120*4577#).

Give Live Projects founder Brian Mbambo said the response to the SMS service had been “overwhelming” — and the application was the first of its kind in KwaZulu-Natal.

“In an effort to make our roads safer, especially with daily complaints about taxis, we decided to launch this project,” he said.

Taxi passengers can send complaints about drunk driving, overloading, exceeding the speed limit, behaving rudely or commending good service.

“We have around 100 taxis from 16 different associations onboard right now,” said Mbambo.

“There is a code sticker inside the taxi and the taxi user can dial the code then put in the code number,” said Mbambo.

Complaints were then sent to the taxi’s owner who took up the matter with the driver.

The application was created by Fish Information in Umlazi. SMS’s are charged at normal rates and can be sent or read in either English or Zulu.

Sbusiso Ngcobo, a taxi owner and member of the KwaMashu Taxi Association, said the programme was a “wonderful thing” for taxi owners who would now know what their drivers were getting up to.

“It will set off an improvement in the taxi industry and will result in less accidents.

“This is a positive thing for us,” he said.

Lawrence Nxumalo, a taxi owner and member of the Malukazi Taxi Association said he is happy to have the application launched in taxis he owned.

“This is going to help us and let taxi users get feedback to us the right way,” he said.

“We really appreciate it.

It is going to decrease the amount of accidents that happen on our roads.”

Nxumalo said now taxi drivers would know their passengers were keeping an eye on them.

“My taxi drivers are open to the application and we will do our best to produce better and safer drivers.”


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