The Running Commentary

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Law Enforcement must take back the roads from the taxi drivers!

This post is borne out of frustration and anger after an article that I read in the Cape Times this morning (Wednesday 30 March 2010). The article was the headline story about a motorcyclist that lost his life due to a hit –and-run incident with a taxi. As reported the biker was run over by a taxi that was fleeing a pursuing traffic officer.

My anger is not necessarily directed only at the taxi driver (the coward who ran away!), in fact it has taken me most of today to try and work out and channel my anger. My anger is also directed at the Metro Police, the lawmakers and politicians of this country.

Why?

Simply put I feel that there is a collective lack of will to bring basic law and order to our streets. We are pummeled with adverts about driving safely and many alcohol manufacturers are now running campaigns warning against drunk driving. What are missing though are the required tools to effectively send out a message.

What tools am I looking for. Well I believe, to start with, that any vehicle being used to transport passengers, in a commercial venture, should be subject to far stringent fines and penalties. The minimum penalties for these operators should begin at 10 times that of a normal driver.

Offences such as unlicensed or un-roadworthy vehicles should be immediate confiscation coupled with severe fines.

Once these have been agreed and put into place, we need the will to enforce and carry them out. Our roads are being overrun by drivers who flout the law and seem to have no sense of the other motorists around them. The constant barging in and out of traffic by the taxi operators must simply no longer be tolerated. The law must be able to punish these operators with the same amount of abandon as they choose to break the law.

This punishment must extend to the owners of the taxis, they should be booked along with their drivers and maybe then we will see a change in behaviour.

I cannot see how the collective powers can allows these crimes to continue. I for one will now view each death on the road, in the public transport sector, as an indictment on law enforcement. Somebody must be held accountable and I believe it vests with them. If law enforcement don’t believe they have the required tools to do the job, then they must stand up and say so.

I would like to convey my deepest sympathies to the family of Kevin Brooks who was killed in this senseless accident. May his death be the last of its kind and I hope that law enforcement take the required steps to prevent a recurrence of this.

ANCbikerCOPECrimeDAIDJacob ZumalawlawmakersmotorcyclistPolicepoliticsSouth Africataxi

Mike • March 31, 2010


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