School name

Kloof High School

Year

2016/2017

students

3

date

15/05/2017

Class

grade 10

Location

Durban

Country

South Africa

This campaign takes a look at the challenges faced regarding public transport and, more specifically, the use of minibus taxis. This mode of transport puts people’s lives in danger and it impacts on learners lives too.

The ideas

As this is our first time competing in this challenge it took a while to get our bearings and find a direction when we were searching for a problem facing our transport system. To begin, we asked ourselves what causes most problems on the road. We then asked our friends, family and teachers what they would say causes most of the problems on the road. We looked at issues such as jaywalking and drinking and driving. We discussed the corruption that is at play when student drivers are able to pay members of the traffic department so they can get a license without having to take the actual test. We spoke about drivers who drive without a license and have no inclination to get one. We addressed the state of our roads and how we could improve them. A mind-map of these thoughts and ideas is included in our presentation.
So what were the reasons for these accidents? We further took a look at what some of the reasons were behind the accidents. We started doing mind-maps on the board as we went through different theories and ideas for our posters to raise awareness for the high rate of accidents involving minibus taxis.

We finally came to the conclusion that while there are many issues that may need to be addressed, our biggest challenge is that of taxi drivers and how they pose a risk to both other drivers on the road as well as to commuters, who depend on their services to get to work and home on a daily basis. Some of these drivers do not have driver’s licenses and are driving around illegally. Some of the drivers are completely dependent on the fact that they earn a percentage of the daily earnings and thus will put others at risk in order to capitalise on that amount. All these factors lead to avoidable accidents where innocent people lose their lives because of speeding, not adhering to the rules of the road and taking risks, such as overloading vehicles. To support our decision, we looked at the media to see if there is direct evidence to support the opinions and comments we heard and observed during our interviews. We found that there were many stories that highlighted this issue. (We have included some articles from the internet as evidence to demonstrate our research.) The news reports show how dangerous these accidents are and how the lives of our community, and more specifically the lives of our fellow learners, are put at risk when they use the minibus taxis as their mode of transport.

The Initiatives

Our Aim:
As one could see, there has been a trend of taxi related accidents that also directly affects the lives of our fellow students. We felt that awareness and better practices were needed in order to reduce the amount of accidents that occur and lives lost due to these accidents.
The aim of our campaign was to create awareness of the trials of using public transport, more specifically focusing on the use of minibus taxis for work and school transport. There is a massive dependency that our society has on this public transport system and at times we put our lives in danger purely because there is no alternative option.

In order to create awareness of the dangers of taxi use and how people are dependent on this form of transport we decided to make a poster that was going to be distributed on the road around the school. This way parents and students as well as taxi drivers were able to see them and become more informed. This poster was later developed in the library.
We decided to design and create a poster that would remind people what they should be doing when in a vehicle to keep themselves safe. Our next step was to place the poster on the side of the road outside the school so that parents, learners and drivers of public transport would constantly be reminded of the safe behaviours one should abide by in order to maintain safety on the roads.
There is great potential for a campaign to be done affectively on the dangers of taxi use and it is acknowledged that some transformation is needed on the way the public is transported to and from work. This idea of transformation overlaps on many levels such as affordability, accessibility and most of all on public perception regarding alternative transport methods. Some alternative transport methods, such as Uber, have had a negative impact on taxi use around airports, for example, as taxi owners saw Uber as a threat to their business. Bringing about more awareness to taxi owners on the safety issues that the public has may allow them the chance to address these issues and change some driving habits that lead to taxi accidents. Making parents aware of the dangers involved in taxi use for school transport may also help. Parents should make the taxi owners and drivers accountable for the safety of the vehicle as well as the way in which the drivers actually drive the vehicles. The drivers must adhere to the rules of the road and not the rules of the business, which is to get everyone to their destination the fastest way possible - which is often the illegal way - in order to get the next group of passengers in the taxi so that money is made as fast as possible.
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