Residents fear rat running

An off-route DTA taxi ploughed into the wall of a Newington Street home in Parklands North while headed to Table Bay Mall on Friday July 6.

Taxis are leaving their routes illegally to rat run through Table View suburbs and it’s only a matter of time before they kill someone, say residents after one crashed through a garden wall.

On Friday July 6, an off-route DTA taxi ploughed into the wall of a Newington Street home in Parklands North while headed to Table Bay Mall.

The taxi issue lit up the Greater Table View Action Forum’s Facebook group earlier this month when a resident said she had seen several taxis in residential areas and suspected they had been off their routes.

Resident Roger Hinkley said he had asked many times for the traffic department to act against taxis taking illegal routes through Sunningdale and Parklands North, but there seemed to be no stop to it.

Mr Hinkley told Tabletalk the taxis sped through the area and posed a grave threat to children and cyclists.

“It’s just a matter of time, in my opinion, until a kid is seriously hurt or, heaven forbid, killed.

“As far as I am aware, they are not allowed through the residential areas and are supposed to use Sandown Road and the R27 to get to the new Table Bay Mall,” he said.

Last year, residents blamed authorities for not having a plan to stop taxis using residential roads when Table Bay Mall opened, (“Residents rat on errant taxis,” Tabletalk, October 18, 2017).

At the time, Dunoon Taxi Association (DTA) secretary general Frank Qotyiwe said the associations involved had agreed to discipline their members if they failed to use the designated routes.

This week, Mr Qotyiwe told Tabletalk he had visited the Newington Street crash scene. He admitted the DTA taxis had no permits to use any of the residential roads in the suburb.

“We try to let our drivers know that they cannot use Table View roads to get to and from the (Table Bay) mall. We encourage them to use Blaauwberg Road towards the R27 and make their way to the mall. However, we do have drivers that do their own thing at times.

“Those that use the roads in Table View will be dealt with accordingly and will be fined by the DTA,” he said.

Mr Qotyiwe said the driver involved in the crash had not been injured. Meanwhile, he added, the DTA would talk to its insurance company about the damages to the taxi and the Parklands home.

Mr Qotyiwe said the Ysterplaat and Maitland taxi associations also operated in the area.

GTAF’s chairwoman Karen Davis said the situation wasn’t going to go away soon, but tighter regulation could help to avert a tragedy.

“We have also had reports of taxis cutting through the turn-right-only lanes at traffic lights to not have to stop at a red light and at Boy de Goede Circle. There is an official who monitors the children crossing the road, and the taxis that do this present a clear danger to this officer as well as the children crossing.

“We need cameras at all traffic-light intersections so that it deters that behaviour completely,” she said.

The provincial Department of Transport and Public Works said the public could ask the Provincial Regulatory Entity to withdraw a taxi’s permit if it was seen off its route.

Department spokesman Siphesihle Dube said the department needed the name of the street where the taxi had been seen to check against its records.

Ward 107 councillor Nicky Rheeder said the courts, by reducing or quashing fines, failed to deter taxi transgressions.

“Road rules seem to mean nothing to people anymore. We are hoping that the powers that be are able to change legislation in order to allow traffic services to arrest drivers for more transgressions than they are currently able to,” said Ms Rheeder.

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