DURBAN – Road and traffic authorities will be tightening their rules-and-regulations belt, particular to regulate more closely the public transport sector to ensure the safety of all road-users and commuters.
The new Public Transport By-law, which aims to regularise public transport in the city, was approved by the Executive Committee yesterday (20 June 2016) for final publication in Ezasegagasini Metro and the Provincial Gazette.
The object of the By-law is to regulate the operation of mini-bus taxis, buses and metered taxis in eThekwini.
- This includes preventing public transport vehicles stopping outside of a demarcated area at a public transport facility.
- Also, no unroadworthy vehicles may be parked in a public transport facility. Repairs may not be undertaken at these facilities either, while the washing of vehicles is only allowed in demarcated areas at public transport facilities.
- Bus drivers are only allowed to pick up passengers at a demarcated bus stop. And when stopping for passengers, they must stop the bus as close as possible to the kerb to enable the person to get in.
- The By-law has made provisions for metered taxis which includes the requirements to operate. This includes the meter being fitted inside the taxi to ensure the recorded fare is plainly visible at all times by the passenger.
- The behaviour of drivers, conductors and passengers is also covered by the By-law. This includes prohibiting the use of force, intimidation, threat or other means to prevent a person from using a public transport vehicle of their choice or to prevent the driver from taking on passengers.
- This covers the behaviour of passengers boarding and disembarking of public transport vehicles, queuing at public transport facilities and prohibiting the carrying of dangerous or offensive articles.
- Tuk-tuks and other novelty vehicles are also covered in the By-law.
There are strict penalties in place for those found in contravention of the By-law.It currently awaits Council approval. Once adopted by Council, the By-law will come into effect six months from the date of publication in the Provincial Gazette. The six month implementation period allows the Municipality to facilitate training on the By-law with officials who are mandated to enforce.