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Cars must 'scoot' over for Vespa

By unknown | Oct 31, 2006 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Phumza Macanda

Phumza Macanda

Scooter distributor Vespa yesterday made some motorist's blood boil with its campaign advocating the road tax in favour of two-wheel vehicles.

The marketing campaign in major cities, including Cape Town, Johannesburg and Pretoria, called for a road tax for people driving motor cars.

"My blood started to boil this morning when I saw notices that we need to pay road tax to enter the city, only to find out that it is part of a Vespa campaign," wrote one reader to Sowetan.

Vespa's managing director Andy Reid said: "I admit it's cheeky and controversial but it does raise an important point about what should be done about major traffic congestion in our cities, which cannot be ignored."

Reid said that traffic would eventually come to a standstill if nothing was done and the campaign was intended to get people to think about alternatives.

Last week the Gauteng provincial government experimented with a special lane on the Ben Schoeman Highway between Johannesburg and Pretoria for vehicles that have three or more people, to encourage motorists to share lifts or to use public transport.

"We are naive if we think that people will continue to buy cars then leave them to use public transport. The Durban inner city road tax has worked well and all I'm saying is that people should consider two-wheel drives," Reid said.

Some motorists agreed with Reid, writing to Sowetan that they supported the introduction of road tax to ease travel on the city's busy roads.

"I suggest South Africa considers time variable charging, so that rush hour miles cost more."

The Italian manufactured Vespa costs from R600 to R1000 a month to finance and can travel up to 120kmh.


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