n Civil Engineering = Siviele Ingenieurswese - Efficacy of novel interventions on speed compliance in the minibus taxi industry : transportation engineering

Volume 23, Issue 8
  • ISSN : 1021-2000



The informal public transport industry, dominated by minibus taxis, accounts for a significant proportion of the collective transport market in South Africa. However, in-vehicle speed adaptive technologies are yet to be tested and fully implemented in this industry. According to national road traffic reports of South Africa most severe and fatal crashes are attributed to speeding, a significant number of which involve minibus taxis. A study carried out by the Automobile Association of South Africa recorded an annual total of 70 000 minibus taxi crashes, which indicates that taxis in South Africa account for twice the rate of crashes than all other passenger vehicles. Many of these taxis engage not only in urban trips on weekdays, but also in long-distance trips on weekends. Although the logistics of both types of trips (urban and long-distance) are different, the drivers and vehicles used are the same. Demographics revealed that most drivers engaged in long-distance transport fall within the age range of 31-40, with minibus driving experience being 3-5 years. In addition, these drivers work a minimum of six days per week, and spend 9-12 hours driving every day. In the last decade a series of on-road Average Speed Enforcement (ASE) systems - commonly known as Average Speed Over Distance (ASOD) systems - were erected along notorious road sections. The use of ASE systems is growing steadily and gaining popularity in South Africa. Although it has been effective in general, a number of shortcomings are evident, specifically associated with the isolation of transportation modes in the evaluation process. Another countermeasure, not common to the informal public transport sector, is Intelligent Speed Adaptation (ISA), implemented through in-vehicle Human Machine Interfaces (HMIs). These ISA systems can continuously inform and enforce posted speed limits, unlike most on-road countermeasures which are spatially limited. In addition to these compliance enforcement measures, financial gain due to lower speeds could act as a non-invasive and inherent self-correcting incentive. This article explores ASE, ISA and fuel savings in the informal public transport sector in South Africa.

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