Boycott unsafe drivers, commuters urged

2012-02-07 19:08

Cape Town - Commuters who use public transport should boycott unsafe drivers, Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele said on Tuesday.

"Passengers must refuse to be transported in a vehicle that doesn't meet the minimum safety requirement standards. Passengers must refuse to be transported in a vehicle that drives at neck-break speed," he told the parliamentary transport portfolio committee.

During a briefing by the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC), he said his department wanted passengers to help change the attitude of drivers who did things, such as operate unroadworthy vehicles, speed, and drive drunk.

Passengers should say no to a driver under the influence of alcohol or drugs, he said.

Ndebele said the department was giving its "full support" to the establishment of more road safety councils within communities.

"Through this initiative, we are saying people must take back their roads for it's only if we all become involved that we will be able to win the war against road carnage.

"Passengers must work with us in changing the culture on our roads."

Ndebele said the department, in partnership with the department of basic education, was introducing driving lessons as part of the life skills curriculum at schools.

"We want to catch them young before they fall for the societal pressures associated with this world we live in," he said.

The department wanted to prepare them for the road ahead and create a new breed of driver.

RTMC acting chief executive Collins Letsoalo told the committee the corporation would focus on removing rogue drivers, discontinuing "severely defective vehicles", and removing corruption and fraud at vehicle testing stations and driving licence centres.

"It really defeats the purpose if we move a car off the road and we find it back through corruption."

He said if passengers increased their use of seat belts, fatalities could be reduced by 30%.

"This is something we need to change in the mindset of South Africans. Zero fatalities for us is the change we want to see on our roads. This cannot continue."

  • Jymiro - 2012-02-07 19:22

    Its irresponsible for the minister to abdicate his responbility to protect the public against unsafe vehicle.

      John - 2012-02-07 20:09

      I think Sibusiso Ndebele is Freaky Freaky...and I don't like it... i don't

      ivan.coetzee2 - 2012-02-07 20:24

      Geez these "new regime leaders" are scathingly brilliant, between him and Cronin I am unsure who takes the cake! Tell us minister, how must people instinctively know who is a safe driver vs an unsafe 1? How do they know if the taxi has cardboard for brake pad and which 1 doesnt?? You are undoubtedly ignorant!

      Francois - 2012-02-07 20:45

      Ivan, did you really mean take the cake - it seems kinda off a direct translation from the Afrikaans: "Vat die koek" or maybe it is other way round. I this specific context, I think that you must bear in mind that we are dealing with communists, they are not suppose to have cake available for the taking as everyone in SA still does not have cake. I think, they steal the cake, like Stalin did or simply just let innocent people die, like Stalin did. Unfortunately for our country's communists, the public transport system, even in the former USSR is better than they can build here and one cannot blame apartheid for this as the taxi industry could have been regulated and monitored, the question is why didn't they? I think the answer is simple, they are eating cake.

      ivan.coetzee2 - 2012-02-07 20:57

      @Francois: Yes it come from the expression "..., takes the cake", i.e. the winner. Later converted to Afrikaans version. And like that French Queen said of the starving poor during the french revolution, shortly before being beheaded, "Let them eat cake". Let that be a message to these rougues in power!

      Sean - 2012-02-07 21:07

      Yes, and if you don't have cake or champagne, I will eat and drink it for you.......! Typical, shifting the responsibility again, which this government is very good at! Like the road signs at the off/on-ramps on the hi-ways - "Beware of your own safety" How rediculous?

      MandrewZA - 2012-02-08 07:35

      Report bad driving at Now anyone can do something about it. If you see it happening, report it!! The more people that think bad driving is not acceptable, the stronger the voice becomes.

  • Kim - 2012-02-07 19:26

    Transport minister is missing the point. It is his freeking job to get these coffins off the road

      Francois - 2012-02-07 19:52

      Kim, he also does not apply logic (not that anyone will expect it). How can people say "no" to a taxi driving at neckbreak speed if they are not in the taxi? Should they get out and wait for the next one and pay twice? I think the minister must go and frighten a windpomp in the Karoo rather, he can just call out his name: SSS- BOOOO! The people who are driving like he has decribed should, like you have stated, be taken off the road, by proper policing. Taxis should not be allowed to stop anywhere they want, yellow lane driving should be stopped and taxi drivers, caught driving without license should be put in jail and those who continues to defy traffic rules should have their drivers licenses taken away. Come on SSS BBOOO - act like a minister and not like a ghost.

  • George - 2012-02-07 19:35

    So the minister is telling us to boycot taxis, right

      Kim - 2012-02-07 19:42

      Right George. This means we can block the freeways too

  • Mash R Bantwini - 2012-02-07 19:43

    Did the minister think sum1 who is late to work would boycott the driver? In fact,the guys(drivers) do passengers favour at times.

  • Anthony Mayoss - 2012-02-07 19:44

    Yes leave the problem to the public to sort out, why should the government do what they get paid to do! Why not upgrade public transport??? Think there are too many government employees with a finger in the taxi industry..!

  • Peter - 2012-02-07 19:55

    How can one "refuse to be transported" when one is in a taxi travelling at breakneck speed with a drunken driver at the wheel? What a silly suggestion, minister. It is up to the minister and his gang to re-test drivers, arrest the guilty and DESTROY unroadworthy vehicle (as in drop huge slabs of concrete on them from a good height) so they cannot sin again.

  • Evan - 2012-02-07 20:08

    Brilliant, and how, pray do tell is someone to know if the driver of their specific taxi is a dangerous driver until he actually drives? Or are you meant to evaluate each driver as he drives into the taxi rank! And this guy is a minister, woe is us!

  • braamc - 2012-02-07 20:21

    Now the public must do the cop's jobs. Commuter, taxi taxi. Wait just want walk around your vehicle, inspect, check, did you have anything to drink, check, tyres, check. Why not better and more competent, less bribes, and strict enforcement - your job

  • Cracker - 2012-02-07 20:23

    It is amazing how politicians' minds sometimes work. Here's another idea: Boycott useless teachers, useless health workers and of course useless police officers. Get the drift?

  • ThandaMzansi - 2012-02-07 20:28

    Shouldn't GOVERNMENT be ensuring that those vehicles are safe, and the driver's licensed? Pass the buck again people. Eish.

  • Barefoot - 2012-02-07 20:38

    All you are giving knee jerk responses every time a government official speaks you fail to see the positives and jump to the negatives the guy actually acknowledged problems in his department hence is also also asking the community to take responsibility for their own lives last I've seen everyone is supposed to

      Barefoot - 2012-02-07 20:48

      2 examples 1.a lady actually got off a taxi that the driver tried to overload because everyone was in a hurry i was in that taxi and never took my personal safety into mind a stupid thing i know 2. we were in a taxi and the driver was driving recklessly and fighting with this elderly man we actually stopped him and got off the taxi even though it had already travelled a few k's already and it's difficult to get taxis were we got off. both taxis seemed roadworthy enough- personal responsibility goes a long way

      Sean - 2012-02-07 21:44

      @Barefoot - My domestic worker mentioneditg to me as well, that if hey realise that the driver is about to overloasd with trfying tyo pick up more passengers than he is allowed to, then the passengers shouldn't allow the driver to do so and to boycot him! I must say that she had a goid point there. But whgen it comes to all the other rubbisdh mentioned in this article, the transport minister cannot expect all passengers to inspect vehicles ec. By the way if/when the taxi-driver reaches "break-neck" speed, it is unfortunately too late, people are usually killed by these drivers in an accident anyway. Now I ask you what can the minister expect the passengers to do in those situations, especially if the driver is drunk? Must the passengers open the driver's door, kick him out at that speed and take over the vehicle and bring it to a standstill? I think you watch too many movies! Seatbelts? - what seatbelts? I have never ever seen a taxi's passengers wear their seatbelts even if there were any! Card-board brakes, yes! It should be law that all passenger transport vehicles go for a roasdworthy test evey 12 months similar to what is done in first world countries! If these certificates cannot be produced at an inspection/roadblock, the vehicle is impounded and simply crushed. Get the message? Get off the couch and get serious about this carnage where innocent people are killed on masses every day. Daily headline "Taxi head-on collission" 34 killed example...!?

      Sean - 2012-02-07 21:49

      Sorry about all the spelling errors I made in my comment previously, but this situation just freaks me out that nothing serious is being done about this situation - yet they consantly say that "speed kills"!? Yea right! Where are these stats obtained from?

      Barefoot - 2012-02-08 06:15

      I agree with you there are some situations where passengers are helpless and those situations need an intervention from the department. so some drivers need to be reported unfortunately i don't even know how they'd go about doing this. the other thing is if you survive a ride with a reckless driver would you go back to his taxi again? the thing is if you use taxis on a daily basis you end up knowing most drivers.

  • heinrich.crouse - 2012-02-07 21:00

    Could this moron be any more useless? He needs some kind of helper to tell him to shut the f up if he can't do his job and just wait for his pension in his office.

  • Hetha - 2012-02-07 21:48

    What a moron - when was the last time he caught a taxi?

  • Tony - 2012-02-07 21:54

    Boycott unsafe taxi drivers ..... Is this a ploy by JZ to put South Africans back on their feet? Everyone using a taxi would be walking!!

  • Tony - 2012-02-07 21:57

    Come to think of it.. When are the police and blue light brigade going to start obeying the rules of the road?

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