Wheels24 user: Laws to fill coffers
PROBATION PLAN IMPLAUSIBLE?: If the proposed changes to drivers licenses are approved, first-time drivers will have to be on their toes during a 12-month probation period or risk a two-year suspension and having to repeat the licencing process
Author: Tinus Van Eck
Cape Town - In theory all suggestions made in the “Probation plan for new drivers” article are great and would contribute to reducing road fatalities. The same applies to the e-tolling system.
When put into practice however, I feel it's just another opportunity to launder money to corrupt officials and their tendering counterparts. The current system is sufficient, but needs to be better enforced.
If the Metro Police currently can't keep half the unroadworthy vehicles off the road, new legislation won't change anything. Another point which I’ve been concerned about for years now, are the tactics or methods used by the Metro Police to curb road fatalities.
WHERE ARE ACCIDENTS OCCURING?
It would be nice to see News24 publish an article on the statistics of accidents. Surely if drunk driving is responsible for 80% of fatalities, shouldn't 80% of law enforcement efforts be focussed on that then?
When, how, and most importantly WHERE these accidents happen should be studied, as I'm of the opinion that most fatalities happen at intersections. This might not be rocket science, but why then are the cops sitting next to wide open highways busy speed trapping? I'm not a fan of speed enforcement at all, but I do believe it has its place, and it should be specifically monitored over traffic lights and other intersections!
Unfortunately this is also where most drivers break the law, not stopping at stop signs (I'm not concerned about the guy whose wheels don't fully stop, but the ones dashing over at 20km/h-plus), dashing over red lights in peak traffic, failing to keep the intersection clear in high traffic situations and failure to use indicators.
Picture the following two scenarios:
A car doing 70km/h in a 60km/h zone over a traffic light turning amber, or worse, red, with a turning vehicle very likely to misjudge your speed or intentions not to stop and cause an accident.
In this situation the driver's speed is not fast enough to warrant a fine, and since the light was amber, it's arguable whether he could or should have stopped or not. However, if an accident happened, the impacting speed difference between the two vehicles would have been +/-70km/h ignoring possible braking swerving, et cetera.
Now in a different situation, a car is doing 150km/h on a highway and another car doing his 120km/h turns from the slow lane in front of him. Although the speed limit is being exceeded by 30km/h, the difference between the two vehicles is only 30km/h, and can be reduced quicker than 70km/h!
Both these situations can be debated, but it proves to show that higher speeds aren't always necessarily reckless.
DANGER AT INTERSECTIONS
So my suggestion in dropping the fatality rate is simple. Implement a huge number of speed or red light fixed cameras and law enforcement, at the INTERSECTIONS, at schools, and other high risk areas. Now Metro Police's response might be: "If you put up the fixed speed cameras, people know they are there and slow down", but really, isn't that the point?
Which makes me wonder? How many accidents happen at locations with fixed cameras versus the ones without them?
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