The brandhouse Number One Taxi Driver Campaign and Road Safety
There is a growing focus on a system of public transport that is reliable, safe and comfortable, and which responds adequately to the demands of passengers. Government has welcomed all of the voices within the public transport arena, and in particular, the growing confidence of commuters in the transformation of the public transport environment.
The efforts to provide quality public transport are not only efforts undertaken by the Government, but also independent initiatives and partnerships by commuter organizations, community based organizations, business associations and public transport operators to complement the efforts of Government.
Even though the old and non-roadworthy state of the taxi fleet is one of the major contributing factors to road accidents, the role of reckless drivers who do not respect the rules of the road and the rights of other road-users, should not be underestimated. It is necessary as well to focus on the role played by taxi drivers in taxi operations.
brandhouse Number One Taxi Driver Campaign
Commuters have the right, at all times, to travel in safety and in comfort, with operators expected to deliver high levels and quality of services. It is the responsibility of Government and traffic authorities to keep operators on their toes and ensure that they respond adequately to passenger demands. By providing an incentive to safety conscious drivers we can enhance both the safety of minus commuters and other road users sharing the roads with minibus taxis.
The brandhouse Number One Taxi Driver Campaign [started in 2004] is such an initiative striving to enhance road safety by addressing and rewarding road safety amongst our minibus taxi drivers!
- The aim is to impact on taxi driver behavior by reminding them of their responsibility to commuters and the larger community.
- The campaign is placing special emphasis on further educating those drivers who are committed to providing quality service in roadworthy vehicles, while driving safely and with courtesy.
- The brandhouse Number 1 Taxi Driver Competition communicates the key message that road safety is the responsibility of all of us, and not only the Government
- This Campaign is also aimed at improving the image of the taxi industry by prioritizing the training of drivers in advanced driving skills as well as customer care.
- Drivers are motivated and rewarded for learning how to respect the rules of the road and other road users.
- Drivers are motivated not only to respect their passengers, but respect the rights of pedestrians as well.
- The brandhouse initiative posed opportunity for partnerships between business and private sector to invest in the taxi industry "and help develop skills".
How does it work?
- A distinguishing feature is the participation of taxi commuters, who "were encouraged to vote via sms for taxi drivers that they thought drove responsibly and safely".
- Commuters have an important if not a special role to play in processes aimed at transforming our public transport system. Through their independent organizations, commuters can ensure that the interests of users, other than the profit motives of operators, remain the ultimate yardstick for any improved public transport services.
- The process involves choosing drivers from participating taxi ranks based on commuter nominations, these drivers are then put through a theory test.
- 450 Taxi ranks from all 9 provinces took part in the Campaign in 2008.
- This test asks drivers to identify basic road safety mistakes, in picture format, as well as covering pre-trip theory.
- The top three drivers from each rank then partake in a practical test which is set and administered by the Department of Transport.
- The practical test is then conducted by provincial road test officials and comprises of two parts, namely track and road evaluation. Once scores from all the tests are added together the rank finalist is announced.
The Department of Transport has applauded taxi associations for having implemented the driver promotion incentive schemes which encourage drivers to treat passengers with respect, respect the rules of the road and personal and taxi cleanness
Government / Department of Transport reaction to the Campaign
- Government has expressed the commitment towards protecting the interests, needs and expectations of passengers.
- The Department of Transport has emphasized that public transport plays a significant role in transporting people on a daily basis to reach their places of work, thereby ensuring the supply of labour and its productivity to the economy.
- It is in the context of the taxi recapitalisation project and the Road to Safety Strategy that Government has welcomed the brandhouse No. 1 Taxi Driver Competition.
- The government believes this Campaign will contribute immensely towards stemming the carnage in South Africa's roads.
- The Minister of Transport has commended brandhouse, taxi drivers, taxi owners and Provincial Government for their participation and making this very important initiative a resounding success.
- The Department of Transport has committed to this partnership and expressed the desire that this will reach new heights every year.
Taxi Driver Reaction
Winners and nominees for the brandhouse Number One Taxi Driver Campaign have made important comments and even suggestions on how they have - and wish to continue to enhance road safety:
- "I believe it starts with oneself, when you treat people with respect and ubuntu, you will gain respect as well. Training alone will not make you a better person but you need to show willingness to work with people and learn from them..."
- “Set goals for yourself and have a vision, including being professional about your work as you want other people to take you and your work seriously. During Public Transport Month we need to ensure those few (people) who will be using our transport (taxis) are not tempted to going back to using their own cars but rather show what a convenient means of transport taxis can be…"
- "My wish is to see all taxi drivers including owners receiving training particularly with 2010 coming to have a positive mind and attitude….”
- “Taxi organisations and taxi owners should encourage their drivers to do advance driving courses to improve their driving skills and prevent road accidents…”
- "I have learnt new things. For example I have learnt that when you drive on a rainy day, you should be very careful and try to ensure that there is a (proper) distance between your car and another one."
- “It is critical that all drivers adhered to traffic rules because they are dealing with people's lives…”
- "Taxi drivers like to drive fast on the roads. I think they should be careful and ensure that commuters reach their destinations safely."
- “I will do my best and try to be the best taxi driver on the road from now on. I have learnt so much and will carry on trying…”
- “I hope this competition will not stop here but continue to encourage all the taxi drivers out there…”
brandhouse and the Number One Taxi Driver
brandhouse has emphasized that this project continues to demonstrate its commitment to promoting responsible consumption and the social upliftment of both taxi drivers and their respective commuters.
The brandhouse Number One Taxi Driver Campaign is a brandhouse initiative, which is supported by the Department of Transport. In addition, Toyota is a sponsor of the Campaign, and is also supported by Arrive Alive and the RTMC, which are agencies within the Department of Transport. The provincial legs of the Campaign are endorsed by the MEC’s for Public Transport, Roads and Works and from a national level by the Minister of Transport.
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