Cape Town plans to nail taxis for breaking traffic laws: report

The City of Cape Town is reportedly planning to come down a lot harder on taxi drivers who flout the country’s road laws, with new regulations that could lead to the impounding of violators’ vehicles.

While many of the listed violations already carry a penalty like a fine, the city wants to introduce new regulations that will broaden the conditions under which the city is allowed to impound vehicles, reports IOL.

These changes will take place through the changing of conditions in taxi operating permits, it said.

According to the city, current enforcement has been ineffective and weak, with most fines simply not being paid. The change in legislation will allow the it to take effective action against taxi drivers who simply ignore the set traffic laws, and put lives in danger.

Almost 4,800 taxis have been impounded by the city since 2016, IOL reported, with the number expected to increase massively when the new laws are in place.

Under the new laws, the following traffic violations could lead to a taxi being impounded:

  • Reckless driving;
  • Overloading;
  • Speeding;
  • Driving under the influence;
  • Driving an unroadworthy vehicle;
  • Driving on the shoulder of the road;
  • Driving in an oncoming lane;
  • Disobeying traffic channeling lines;
  • Disobeying traffic signals, stop streets or pedestrian crossings;
  • Touting for passengers on a route;
  • Recklessly cutting in after passing a vehicle;
  • Operating without a valid driver’s licence or professional driving permit;
  • Hindering or obstructing traffic;
  • Parking or stopping vehicles illegally;
  • Leaving a vehicle abandoned on a road;
  • Use of a communications device while driving;

All that remains in the process to enacting the new laws is a public consultation process, and publishing the final laws in the government gazette. The laws are expected to come into effect by December 2017.

Read: South Africa has a bigger road problem than taxis, traffic and pot-holes – and it’s going to cost you

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Cape Town plans to nail taxis for breaking traffic laws: report