Taxi driving academy a great idea

Taxi owners should also actively be involved in the project and encourage their drivers to be involved in the initiative, the writer says.
Taxi owners should also actively be involved in the project and encourage their drivers to be involved in the initiative, the writer says.
Image: Gallo Images/Foto24/Lulama Zenzile

The news that taxi drivers in Gauteng will be sent to advanced driving school will save lives on the province's busy roads.

Taxi drivers are notorious for their recklessly and negligent driving and they care less, if not at all, about other motorists on the roads.

But we are relieved now that some people out there are doing something to empower the taxi drivers.

We applaud the provincial transport department and Armscor for coming up with this programme to reduce road carnage on Gauteng roads.

Apart from polishing their driving skills, there will be an academy that will offer educational programmes to improve taxi drivers' social skills.

Transport MEC Jacob Mamabolo said his department and Armscor were determined to empower the taxi industry, particularly taxi drivers, so they can improve not just driving but also customer relations.

We all know the sheer arrogance of some of the taxi drivers and only hope that the programme will change attitudes.

It always pains us to learn about incidents where taxi drivers abused and assaulted commuters and other motorists. Just recently, veteran singer and actor Abigail Kubeka was left bruised after she was assaulted, allegedly by a taxi driver in Soweto who then fled.

Kubeka is an old and defenceless woman, and we ask ourselves what the taxi driver aimed to achieve by assaulting her. But that's an attitude of some of our taxi drivers.

The project, to be rolled out from next year, would be funded by government and the taxi industry. Mamabolo said it was important for taxi drivers to also foot part of the bill, as this would allow them to see the value of engaging in the programme.

Taxi owners should also actively be involved in the project and encourage their drivers to be involved.

We hope other provincial governments will take note of what Mamabolo is doing and introduce similar programmes in their respective provinces.

Road carnage is a crisis and we need everyone to be involved in dealing with the bloodletting. The festive season is just around the corner and we pray for safe driving to save lives of innocent people.

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