A taxi overloaded with pupils from Hoërskool Cillie was caught on camera by a concerned motorist in Sydenham last week. In the photograph‚ pupils can be seen clinging to the back of the vehicle while others hang from the open sliding door on the side. Roy Thompson‚ who witnessed the incident‚ told The Herald he had followed the taxi for some time to take photographs. Several other traffic violations also occurred within that time‚ he said.
“I could not believe my eyes when I saw it drive through the red robot with all these kids hanging on, and the sliding door on the passenger side not even closed‚” Thompson said. As he followed the taxi‚ several children disembarked‚ jumping off the back or out of the open door at traffic lights. Due to the number of children on the back of the taxi‚ he was unable to see the vehicle’s licence plate. “My first instinct was to laugh‚ but then I wanted to cry. It’s actually such a sad sight.”
National Taxi Alliance provisional representative, Mxolisi Sontshatsha expressed outrage at the driver’s behaviour. “This shouldn’t warrant a ticket; this should be a straight jail sentence‚” he said.
Sontshatsha said such incidents‚ however isolated‚ were an insult to the taxi industry‚ and that other taxi operators who witnessed blatant traffic transgressions had a duty to take fellow drivers to task. “What would have happened if there was an accident"?, he queried.
Sontshatsha said: “This is a major breach of traffic laws as taxis are designed to carry passengers inside and not outside. The driver is not only endangering the lives of the school learners and his own‚ but those of other road users as well.”