WATCH: W Cape govt responds to new SA road rules

SERGIO DAVIDS
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 NEW ROAD RULES: The majority of Wheels24 readers called for better enforcement of current road laws instead of government's implementation of new draft regulations. Image: AFP / CARL DE SOUZA ~ AFP

Cape Town - The National Transport Department has publicised draft regulations intended to reduce South Africa's appalling road-death toll.

Draft regulations intended to curb road carnage include slower speed limits, the banning of carrying children in a bakkie load bay and restricting the use of heavy vehicles on public roads.

Another proposed regulation could frustrate drivers by compelling them to take a practical test, the details of which have yet to be published, when renewing a driving licence.

WESTERN CAPE GOVT RESPONDS

Siphesihle Dube, spokesperson for the Western Cape MEC for transport and public works, weighed-in.

Dube said: "The regulations have been published for public comment and hopefully the outrage makes it to paper and is submitted as part of the public participation process."

VIDEO: Western Cape's Siphesihle Dube responds to new SA road rules

"We understand the impetus been the proposed regulations. We have lobbied for similar amendments to be made in the past. Road deaths are a serious problem in SA and its important to tackle these problems not just through legislation but also through enforcement and education.

"Nationally, there's a major issue with driver fitness. Government discussions have identified various interventions such as a probation period for new drivers."


Government is calling for drivers to take a practical test when renewing a driving licence. Will this curb road deaths? Have your say in our home page voting booth!


REDUCED SPEED LIMITS

Dube said: "According to statistics in the Western Cape, many pedestrian are being knocked down in 60km/h zones.

It's widely accepted that a 60km/h speed limit isn't safe for urban areas particularly around schools and shopping malls. A review of speed limits in urban areas needs to be conducted."

WHEELS24 READERS RESPOND

Wheels24 has received dozens of emails and comments about the proposals. Our readers' responses ranged from calls for better enforcement of current laws to approval of the new. Below are some of them:

Albert Managa: "New laws and rules can only work if they are enforced. If there is no enforcement, they will remain useless. It is senseless to have a millions of laws that remain unimplemented. Enforce the current rules first."

VIDEO: Western Cape's Siphesihle Dube responds to new SA road rules

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VIDEO: 'Random driver-testing nonsensical' - JPSA

Aphiwe Handile: "I dont see how these new regulations will work. The issue of lazy and corrupt officers in our country remains. There are already SA road laws for those in authority to enforce. What happens if a driver bribed an officer/offical to obtain the driving licence what gives us guarantee that he/she wont when be called for a renewal? What a Waste of time and state resources..."


'Cutting speed limits won't stop crashes. Cutting bad driving will.' It's just one of dozens of readers' replies to proposed SA road rules. Click here for more reader responses!


Nhlamulo Moses: "I think they are not certified about the corruption that is happening in our training centres where instructors are the ones who are tested on your behalf."

Zane Van Zyl:

'IT WILL CAUSE MORE CORRUPTION'

Angelo said: "I agree with the reduction in speed limits but driver evaluation/lisence-renewal will cause corruption. I have seen it with my own eyes in traffic departments."

R Baker: "The idea of driver retesting is unrealistic and impractical and shows a lack a basic management skills by those proposing it. Instead of bothering the entire driving population, most of whom are safe drivers, the emphasis should be on identifying unlicensed, illegal drivers.

Secondly, drivers who are fined/caught for certain categories of traffic offenses or whom have  had crashes should automatically have to be retrained/reapply for licenses or government should enforce the demerit system.

"The underlying problem is lack  of  driver training for some (Not all) and Criminal/ignorant/corrupt disregard for existing licensing and training legislation. It is really not fair to inconvenience all drivers because of the sins of a few!


Read the SA Road And Freight Association's (RFA) response to proposed truck restrictions.


Ross Stuart: "The government can propose and pass whatever laws it likes but if they are not properly enforced they are worthless. At present there is enormous non compliance without consequences.

"Until such time as this state of mind is changed the status quo will remain, regardless of any law changes.
It would be an interesting exercise to establish what percentage of traffic fines issued are actually paid country wide and what percentage of those not paid end up in court."

ATTITUDE CHANGE NEEDED

Tokollo Maphala: "I am not in favour with the new proposal, it is just going to cost the country more problems and increase unemployment, crime. Furthermore reducing speed will not serve the purpose,what need to be done is for the department to increase visibility of law enforcement.

"Testing when renewing a driving licence is not cost effective for us because we will have to make an appointment first and while waiting for the date,you are not allowed to drive and some of us work far from the testing centres or outside town.

Reducing of speed will it apply to all citizens or government officials will be given special treatment. With regards to loading kids on bakkies - how are we going to help those living in rural areas only work as a transport to provide for her family?

"I understand the challenge that our county is facing, but it seems that people in the government don't think for other people who are not in the same league or disadvantages. They only concern about being noted as someone who drafted a new policy and not checking the impact of it.

"I truly believe that if visibility and the citizens can change their attitude and patience we can we this war."

Wilna Strydom:

What do you think of the Transport Department's proposed legislation? Will we see a reduction in road deaths? Email us and we'll publish your thoughts.