Major new road rules proposed for South Africa: report

In a bid to cut down on the high death rate on South African roads, traffic authorities are planning a number of radical new regulations.

According to a report by the Sunday Times, the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) has a proposed a complete overhaul of South Africa’s current testing and driving rules.

Some of these new changes include:

  • Motorists will need to undertake a retest every five years when they renew their driver’s licences;
  • Newly qualified drivers may not make long road trips in their first year (more than 150km or more);
  • Newly qualified drivers must still be accompanied by an experienced driver for their first six months;
  • Additional testing for truck, bus and taxi drivers;
  • Motorists will not be allowed to obtain a  heavy-truck licence if they do not already have a car licence.

RTMC spokesperson Simon Zwane said the organisation also wanted a complete overhaul of the K53 driving test.

However, he noted that this was still in the discussion phase, and completed proposals would be submitted to transport minister Blade Nzimande and parliament for approval.

There has been no indication as to when the above changes will be gazetted by government or come into effect.

Problems

While the new changes may be welcomed by some, Justice Project South Africa’s Howard Dembovsky said that the economic impact of the proposals and rampant corruption at traffic departments have already doomed the plans to failure.

Speaking to the Sunday Times, Dembovksy said that corrupt officials would now be able to target South African motorists every five years and not just while they are first obtaining their licence.

He added that other rules were currently in place internationally, but were impractical in South Africa.

“The concept of novice drivers has been successfully rolled out in countries like Australia, New Zealand and the UK,” he said.

“Novice drivers are subjected to limitations in those countries with respect to the hours within which they may operate. They have to complete a log book with respect to daytime and night-time driving, and driving in different weather conditions.

“We need a probationary driving licence as an intermediate step between a learner’s licence and a full driving licence.”


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Major new road rules proposed for South Africa: report