Taxis halt for checks

2015-09-01 06:00
A traffic officer check the indicators of a taxi before the taxi driver was given permission to leave.

A traffic officer check the indicators of a taxi before the taxi driver was given permission to leave.

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In an effort to clamp down on taxi drivers transporting commuters without the correct permits Kirstenhof police, in partnership with the traffic department, held an operation in Main Road.

The taxi operation was held on Wednesday last week and started at about 07:30 as taxi drivers were making their way towards Diep River.

Captain Edgar Jones of Kirstenhof police station says they also stopped taxi drivers who were using the route illegally.

“We must ensure that the taxi associations adhere to the law and drive only where they are permitted. If not, we will issues fines and, if possible, we impound the taxis,” he says.

Jones explains that impounding the taxis is costly for the owner of the taxis as the drivers will need to pay a fine. If the taxi owner wants to get his taxi back he too has to pay a large sum.

“We find that taxi owners will pay the fee as they need to get their taxis back on the road, but this is not done without a warning. They must understand that tension they cause when their drivers use routes illegally,” he says.

The police, along with traffic officers, stopped and pulled off taxis to check if their licences were valid, whether the taxi was licenced and whether they have permits to transport commuters.

Their details were also punched into a system used by the traffic department to look for any outstanding warrants of arrest due to failure to appear in court or unpaid fines.

People’s Post was invited along to observe the operation.

The taxi operation started with several taxis being pulled over at once, and, as the operation continued, there were fewer taxi drivers on the road.

About three taxi drivers, who when they saw the traffic police and police officers, changed route to avoid being pulled over.

However, a City of Cape Town traffic officer was quick on her motorbike to stop the taxi drivers from avoiding the checkpoint.
Police arrested four taxi drivers who had outstanding warrants against them, which included one taxi driver who did not have a license.

Three taxi drivers were given fines for having overloaded taxis to the value if R1200.

Sergeant Deidre Solomon, spokesperson of Kirstenhof police station, says a total of twenty taxis were pulled over.
Traffic fines to the value of R13 500 were issued to drivers for traffic violations.
The police station commander says he is grateful to the members for their commitment in making the roads safer for the community who use public transport.
He says this operation will be repeated regularly, especially as the festive season approaches.

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