Draft regulation to control Windhoek taxis
Adam Eiseb, the Deputy Chief of the traffic management unit at Windhoek City Police said the oversupply of taxis has resulted in increased competition and a strain on the limited facilities.
Due to the oversupply of taxis, regulating taxis has become a complex issue as the Taxi Transportation Permits are issued by the Ministry of Works and Transport at will and without properly consulting with the City Council on the adequacy of facilities nor on the Law enforcement problems, he told the Economist.
The overwhelming number of taxi operators adds to the troubles of traffic officials. Taxi drivers are known for their flagrant disregard of the law, and their continued misbehaviour on a daily basis.
“They continue to threaten the orderly driving in the City. Illegal stopping and unruly maneuvering by these operators are visible all over the City wherever supply and demand exists,” he said.
Furthermore, some taxi drivers are not subjected to advance driving and customer care training. “Most of the drivers are illiterate and they enter the industry while not skilled enough to operate on urban roads. Most of them are part of the urban migration phenomenon,” he said.
To ease the challenges, Eiseb said that law enforcement is executed with uncompromising determination against offenders despite the challenges of delayed justice at the courts.
“In fact, a draft Model Regulations should be executed to address the challenges,” he said.
Eiseb said that the issuing of passenger transport permits should be the responsibility of the Council while passenger transport permits will be divided into routes and areas and the decision to suspend, withdraw or renew permits must rest with the Council. “In addition, the withdrawal or suspension of passenger transport permit could be on account of a traffic offence which leads to suspension in terms of the Road Traffic Transportation Act, 1999, or on account of pending unsettled traffic offences against the holder. And rank permits will be issued and Council may levy fees in respect of this function or could adjust cartage license fees proportionally. In essence, the Council shall exercise direct control over any mode of public transport in its area of jurisdiction,” he said.
“Unless the said Model Regulations are in place which will pave the way for the local authorities to regulate public transport, addressing taxi operators’ behaviour remains an uphill battle,” he stressed.
In the meantime, Eiseb has called upon commuters to play an active role toward attitude change of taxi drivers by not flagging taxis at road crossing and intersections. Commuters are requested to make use of taxi ranks and not to board taxis in the road to lessen the danger of being run over.