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87 pupils crammed into two taxis

Two East London taxi drivers were arrested in separate incidents on Thursday for overloading, after one had crammed 37 pupils into a 14-seater, and the other more than 50 children in his vehicle.
Two East London taxi drivers were arrested in separate incidents on Thursday for overloading, after one had crammed 37 pupils into a 14-seater, and the other more than 50 children in his vehicle.
Image: SUPPLIED

Two East London taxi drivers were arrested in separate incidents on Thursday for overloading, after one had crammed 37 pupils into a 14-seater, and the other more than 50 children in his vehicle.

The driver who had crammed 37 pupils into a 14-seater was arrested after a high-speed chase by BCM traffic officers.

Both drivers were charged with overloading and defeating the ends of justice, and their vehicles were impounded.

BCM traffic services, together with their provincial counterparts chased and managed to stop the taxi which was carrying 37 passengers, all schoolchildren

BCM traffic services, together with their provincial counterparts chased and managed to stop the taxi which was carrying 37 passengers, all schoolchildren,” said BCM traffic commander Quinton Chetty.

He commended the officers for their work, adding they had worked with their provincial counterparts to ensure a successful arrest.

“Overloading is not only illegal but it also puts lives at risk.

“The excess weight can negatively affect the vehicle’s ability to brake and can result in added strain on the car suspension and tyres which can cause accidents,” Chetty said.

In a voice recording relating to the other incident in Scenery Park, heard by the Dispatch, a woman who identifies herself as senior traffic officer Mazizi can be heard calling for backup.

“I’m here at Scenery Park, we need backup here.

“There’s a Quantum that was overloaded with school kids that are about 50 or more. We need SAPS.

“There’s a tow-truck because we want to impound the taxi, but the taxi owners and drivers are here.”

Transport department spokesperson Unathi Binqose said overloading was prevalent among taxi drivers, particularly in the BCM area.

“Both taxis are not contracted by the department to offer scholar transport services. They are taxis used for daily commuting.

“As such, we have embarked on a campaign to clamp down on such [overloading] road transgressions.

“We wish to commend the traffic officers involved who come from BCM and our provincial officer for not turning a blind eye in these instances.

“They [the two drivers] were charged with overloading and defeating the ends of justice for not co-operating with law enforcement officers when they were getting arrested. There was even a call for backup to SAPS.”

Bhinqose said the driver who tried to evade arrest had placed the children’s lives and those of other motorists at risk.

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