Taxi Drivers, Operators to Lose Licences

THE Windhoek municipality has finalised amendments to traffic regulations that will see taxi operators and drivers losing their licences for breaking road rules.

Police chief Abraham Kanime and the deputy chief of the traffic management unit, Adam Eiseb, confirmed yesterday that the revised Road Traffic and Miscellaneous Regulations will target public transport operators.

Kanime said the amended regulations, to which all taxi drivers and operators, breakdown and ambulance services adhere, will be given 100 points. Each time they commit a traffic offence, 10 points will be deducted.

Once the points are exhausted, drivers will have their licences suspended while operators will lose theirs.

Eiseb said that once drivers lose the 100 points, they will be requested to start afresh.

“For driving through a red robot, a driver will lose 10 points,” Eiseb said, adding that stopping at prohibited places will also cost drivers 10 points. “This will start with the public transport operators, but we are working at the national level.”

The president of the Namibia Transport and Taxi Union (NTTU), Werner January, yesterday vowed to fight these regulations, saying that taxi operators and the union were not informed of the new developments.

“This is another way of victimising taxi drivers. The talk about public transport operators is just sugar-coating the whole thing. Before they introduce these regulations, the City traffic department should consult us. We are stakeholders as well. We will fight this and refuse to buy into it,” January said.

Eiseb, however, said they consulted the unions.

“We called the Namibia Transport and Taxi Union (NTTU), as well as the Namibia Bus and Taxi Association (Nabta), and if they say they have not been consulted, then it is not true because we presented the draft to them,” he said.

The president of Nabta, Vespa Muunda, confirmed yesterday that they received the draft from the City Police but were not given a chance to make contributions.

“We wanted to make our input but the stakeholders’ meeting was postponed twice. We have not met the police to discuss the issue of regulations.We don’t know where we stand,” he said.

Muunda refused to discuss what action his union would take if the regulations effected them negatively.

Eiseb said this was an existing regulation which was just updated and amended to improve road safety.

Source : The Namibian