Johannesburg - A total of 54 fatal minibus crashes, totalling 84 fatalities, were recorded in Gauteng during the first three months of 2016, reveals a report by the Gauteng provisional government.
A report, titled 'Summary of Fatal Crashes Involving Mini-bus Taxis January 2013 - April 2016', details the number number of fatal taxi crashes in Gauteng.
What's alarming is the high number of vulnerable road users killed in mini-bus taxi crashes i.e. pedestrians, motorcyclists and cyclists.
Taxi-related fatal crashes (2012 – April 2016):
Almost the same number of pedestrians are killed as vehicle occupants.
85% of pedestrians killed in taxi related crashes occurred in urban areas.
43% of fatal non-pedestrian crashes occurred in urban areas, 25% on freeways, and 32% on main arterial roads.
Since 2013, the province reports 648 minibus fatal crashes and 857 fatalities. Given the number of taxis used as public transport, the number of pedestrians killed is of great concern - 317.
Arrive Alive editor, Johan Jonck, shares some insights: "From the comments received by the Arrive Alive website we find the frustrations among other road users when it comes to the lawlessness among minibus taxi drivers - especially when the drivers of these vehicles tend to disobey rules of the road in congested traffic.
"They are often seen doing yellow lane driving or disobeying traffic signs at stop streets and we regularly receive photos and video clips from road users of these actions.. they do not show much patience in congested traffic and the alarming number of head-on collisions is indeed a concern.
"What these statistics do not reveal is the high number of non-fatal crashes where so many of our commuters on taxis are injured."
Wheels24: What should be done to curb taxi crashes?
Jonck: "The only way to address this is on the one side strict and effective law enforcement - and the continuous building on private public partnerships with industry leaders and the taxi associations..."
"Out taxi commuters are worthy of protection and more should be done to protect them - it is not simply a question of "banning" these vehicles that are such an essential part of our transport industry... it is also easy to say that commuters must not ride along in an overloaded taxi - but it is not so easy if you are the passenger with limited other transport opportunities available."