Taxis: Traffic police clamp down

2008-05-08 00:00

The Msunduzi Traffic Department’s newly formed taxi task unit has already collected more than R1 million in outstanding fines from taxi operators in the city.

The unit aims to clamp down on public transport operators who drive recklessly, and works side by side with the warrant of arrest unit, who check outstanding fines on the spot.

Department chief Kenneth Chetty said after public complaints about the unlawful behaviour of taxi drivers, the department decided to embark on the operation.

"We identified complaints from the public, [including] motorists, commuters and pedestrians about the non-compliance of taxis. We engaged in an operation to monitor taxis that are driving towards oncoming traffic and driving on the yellow line during peak hours. We are also focusing on illegal metered taxis as well as bakkies transporting pupils to school," said Chetty.

The unit, which was initiated in March, has already produced significant successes.

Chetty said 575 drivers were prosecuted in April and more than 1 000 were charged for inconsiderate driving, reckless driving, driving towards oncoming traffic and driving on the yellow line.

Meanwhile, a further 1 671 warrants of arrest have been issued since January by the warrant of arrest unit.

"We have collected R1 276 280 in outstanding traffic fines revenue from January up to now," said Chetty.

He encouraged drivers to come forward and pay their outstanding fines before they are arrested.

The operation will continue on a permanent basis throughout Pietermaritzburg in a bid to "cut down on accidents and create a culture of road traffic signs and regulations compliance".

sandilez@witness.co.za

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