Big push to introduce new South African drunk driving laws

The Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) says that it plans to push forward with the introduction of strict new drunk driving rules in South Africa.

In November 2018, the RTMC proposed to the Department of Justice that driving under the influence (DUI), speeding and reckless or negligent driving be reclassified in terms of the Criminal Procedure Act.

This would include changing DUI from a schedule 2 to a schedule 5 offence, which would place drunk driving in the same ‘category’ of crimes as rape and murder.

It also wants arrested drivers to spend at least seven days behind bars before they can be considered for bail.

Speaking to BusinessTech, RTMC spokesperson Simon Zwane said that the corporation was still pushing for the changes to be made, as it has seen a number of subsequent crashes as a result of drunk driving.

He added that a December 2018 report from the World Health Organisation showed that 60% of road fatalities in South Africa are attributable to alcohol abuse.

“Our position remains the same and we want to do everything possible to save lives,” he said.

Zwane said that the changes would not be made overnight and would require the formal introduction of new legislation.

Commenting on the severity of the bail time, Zwane said that the current laws already allow for longer bail time to be imposed to a certain extent.

He cited a recent KZN case where a taxi driver was not granted bail for seven days after killing three children.

“This is the kind of thing we want to apply consistently,” he said.

Read: South African driver sentenced to 6 months in jail for bribing traffic officers

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Big push to introduce new South African drunk driving laws