The National Traffic Police (NTP) attached to the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) on Sunday arrested a cross border taxi driver for transporting 26 passengers in a 16 seater.
In a statement issued on Sunday, the RTMC said the driver was arrested on the N4 during a stop and check operation.
Upon further investigation, the RTMC said, it was also discovered that 14 occupants in the taxi were undocumented foreign nationals.
“The driver is currently detained at the Silverton Police Station and will face charges relating to contravening the cross border Act, operating a motor vehicle contrary to the conditions of his permit and transporting undocumented persons,” the agency said.
The vehicle has since been impounded for further investigation on other offenses that might have been committed.
Agency chief executive officer Makhosini Msibi in the statement expressed concern with the state of vehicles that are cramming vulnerable passengers following details of a video doing rounds on social media early this year which saw 46 passengers overloaded in a 16 seater.
“Overloaded vehicles not only cause damage to road infrastructure and to your vehicle but it also puts you and other road users at risk. Vehicles react differently when the maximum weights which they are designed to carry are exceeded and the consequences can be fatal,” he said.
Overloading, he added, puts massive strain on vehicle tyres and makes the vehicle less stable, difficult to steer and take longer to stop.
“It is also illegal,” he said.
The RTMC urged motorists to show respect to road traffic rules and passengers.
“Law enforcement officers will continue to be on high alert as travellers are returning from the long weekend,” the agency said.
People are urged to report traffic incidents on 0861 400 800. – SAnews.gov.za