By Doctor Moyo
The Gauteng Department of Community Safety in partnership with South African Police Service (SAPS) and Johannesburg Police Department (JMPD) held an awareness day where they were teaching members of the public about the road safety on Wednesday 10th of May. This awareness day is also a result of United Nations’ Global road safety week, which started on Monday the 8th of May until Friday the 12th.
“This week is actually UN Global road safety, so we decided to come to Cosmo City, because we noticed that the behavior of the taxi drivers had become hazardous.
Most of the Avanza taxi drivers do not have licenses and they do not respect pedestrians or the safety of their own passengers”, said MonkieRammala, Senior Road Safety Officer. “We decided as the department to visit the area and do awareness speaking to the taxi drivers and owners,” he added. There have been numerous complaints from passengers and other road users, about how Avansa taxi drivers conduct themselves when driving. Although some of the complaints have been addressed, the parties involved still believe that awareness is a necessity for the taxi drivers. “It is the responsibility of a driver or any individual to respect rules and regulations of the roads. It start with you as an individual, you have to respect other road users. We should not need to bring law enforcement to tell people what the right thing to do is, people should know that they should do the right thing, and that starts with respect” Said Rammala Randburg United Local and Long Distance Taxi Association (RULLDTA) were invited to the awareness day. NgwokoMokoala , who is the spokesperson for the association said that they working effortlessly to make their drivers to comply with road laws. “We as the association, have a disciplinary office.
Whenever we get a bad report about a certain driver, they go through the disciplinary committee,” said Mokoala. When taking about a situation whereby other taxi drivers drive without licenses, Mokoala said that whoever the owner of the taxi decides to employ is the responsibility of the owner not the association. “Taxi owners should take responsibilities for their drivers. All the Toyota Avansa’s that belong to the association have an association sticker,” he added Officer OomaMorudi from JMDP stated that as the department they will be working closely with the association, “We are going to be having programs in taxi ranks teaching both taxi drivers and the commuters about their safety. In regards to commuters we will focus mostly on the precautions methods that they should be aware of, in terms of their safety,” said Morudi. “If we work together with them, we will be able to educate them bettter.
That is the kind of relationship we have between the association and the JMPD in the area.” On the day, Scholar Patrollers in Both Cosmo city Primary and Junior Primary were launched. Angola Street is one of the busiest streets in the morning at Cosmo City, traffic is being caused by the taxi rank that is near the schools. This includes parents and school transport drivers who drop off kids in the morning.