18/04/2012 Taxi's going through the e-toll on the M1 south towards Soweto Gauteng. (801) Photo: Leon Nicholas

Stellenbosch - Minibus taxis exceed the speed limit more often than other passenger vehicles, according to a study released on Wednesday.

Taxis were required by law not to drive faster than 100km/h, but exceeded the 120km/h speed limit regularly, Stellenbosch University researchers said on Wednesday.

Other passenger vehicles were also found to exceed the 120km/h speed limit up to 25 percent of the time.

Senior lecturer in the department of electrical and electronic engineering at Stellenbosch University, Dr Thinus Booysen, said the study sought to explain the driving habits of minibus taxis on the road between Cape Town, and Queenstown in the Eastern Cape.

The study analysed four sections along the route - Worcester to Laingsburg, Laingsburg to Beaufort West, Beaufort West to Aberdeen, and Graaff-Reinet to Cradock.

Booysen said that in previous studies, minibus taxis exceeded their speed limit on the routes, even exceeding the 120km/h on many stretches.

For the first three sections, the minibus taxis mostly drove faster than the regular passenger vehicles.

“Both taxis and regular passenger vehicles exceed the speed limit. Passenger vehicles exceeded the 120km/h speed limit almost 15 percent of the time for all the road sections evaluated, and 25 percent of the time for the section between Beaufort and Aberdeen,” he added.

Taxis exceeded the 100 km/h speed limit more than 45 percent of the time for all sections of the road, and 85 percent of the time for the stretch between Beaufort West and Aberdeen.

The stretch between Worcester and Laingsburg was at 60 percent and between Laingsburg and Beaufort West at 55 percent.

“In fact, minibus taxis even exceeded the 120km/h limit more than 20 percent of the time for the first three of the four sections,” he said.

The study also found that passenger vehicles exceeded the 130km/h speed five percent of the time between Worcester and Laingsburg with taxis exceeding the 130km/h limit by 10 percent of the time for the same section.

“In fact, the minibuses exceeded 135km/h by five percent of the time for this section. Passenger vehicles exceeded 137km/h by five percent of the time between Beaufort West and Aberdeen,” according to the study.

The maximum speeds recorded for the minibus taxis were 158km/h, 152km/h, 154km/h, and 157km/h, for the four sections, respectively.

Booysen said the owners and drivers of the taxis took part in the experiment and agreed to have their vehicles and behaviour tracked.

The tracking data for other passenger vehicles was supplied by TomTom Traffic Stats, and was anonymously collected from various TomTom solutions.