New driving regulations are scheduled to come into effect on 11 May 2017 according to Transport Minister Dipuo Peters.
South Africa experiences an alarming number of roads deaths year on year, particularly over festive periods, and as a result, Peters has put in motion new proposed regulations for road users to abide by.
While some of the new road rules are still being debated, others have already been implemented.
One particular regulation, which will come into effect on 11 May, is the prohibition of transporting scholars in the back of a bakkie, or any other vehicle traditionally used to transport goods, for money. This is an amendment made to Regulation 250 of the National Road Traffic Regulations.
However, Howard Dembrobsky of the Justice Project South Africa (JPSA) recently spoke out against some of these amendments put forward by the department. He said the department was confusing the public and spreading misinformation.
“For some reason, which is not immediately apparent to us, the Department of Transport appears to have chosen to irresponsibly conflate actual promulgated amendments with draft amendments,” he said. “This merely has the effect of spreading misinformation and confusing the public.”
Dembrobsky pointed out faults in the department’s statement regarding the new regulations. Some of these included that the amendment of Regulation 250 had “legalised” the transportation of any and all other persons in the goods compartment of a motor vehicle for money, as long as the transporter had requested permission from the department to do so.
Also, that the amended regulation did not stipulate the maximum number of persons who may be transported in the goods compartment of a motor vehicle.
Other regulations are still in their draft stage and include the following:
- Drivers will have to undergo a practical driver’s test when renewing his/her driver’s license
- The K53 driving system will be changed
- Speed limits have been proposed to be decrease from 60km/h to 40km/h in urban areas, from 100km/h to 80km/h in rural areas, and from 120km/h to 100km/h on freeways running through residential areas
- Vehicles transporting goods that exceed 9,000kg to be prohibited from traveling on public roads during peak hours