TIME FOR A REVAMP: The K53 will be revised for future learner drivers passing out. Image: iStock
Cape Town – The K53 manual for driver’s and learner’s licence tests is getting an overhaul, Transport Minister Dipuo Peters has said.
The review would include updates and improvements suggested by examiners, the driving school industry, and the general public, she said in reply to a parliamentary question from DA MP Manny de Freitas, and which was published on Monday (November 21).
The code 10 test for heavy motor vehicles such as buses and trucks would be reviewed, to ensure people did not choose it because it was easier than the code 8 test for light motor vehicles.
A driver technical committee, which was responsible for all driver-related standards, processes and procedures, was finalising proposals.
READ: K53 manual to get revamp
The amendments would be published in the Government Gazette for public comment. Once the comments had been reviewed, the manuals would be published.
Workshops would be held across the country, and consultations would involve the transport department, the driver technical committee, driving schools, instructors, and any other interested parties.
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Justice Project South Africa chairman Howard Dembovsky says: 'One of the biggest problems in South Africa is that anyone can teach learner drivers to drive, whether it’s your brother, sister, mother, father, aunt or uncle, and they teach new drivers their own bad habits, which adds to the ever-growing pool of not-so competent drivers.”
"Some driving instructors will disagree with me, but the K53 does not cater for realistic defensive driving techniques, as well as modern advancements in new vehicles such as anti-lock braking systems (ABS), park distance control, assisted hill start, and the likes.”
“The K53 revamp is long, long overdue. It was introduced in South Africa when it was being ditched by other countries, like the UK. And since then they have changed their driving licence requirements at least six or seven times. As long as the people ‘revamping’ the programme are experts, then we look forward to a more modern and more effective training regime.
"Whatever new driving (not driver’s) licence system approach results out of this will incorporate hazard perception testing since, judging by the way some people drive, and is evidenced by the SA’s unacceptably high road traffic crash, injury and mortality rates, is sorely lacking on our roads."
Stay tuned to Wheels24 for a follow-up article when we have more information on the new K53.
Robert Fortuin: I was just thinking out of the blue yesterday about the whole K53 approach. There must definitely be more simpler methods to apply to a more safety consciousness and approach on our roads.
If every new driver, since the K53 method was introduced, should observe the strict applications thereof on all of our roads there will be pile-ups and chaos. Why be so strict on things that a candidate won't apply the minute they have their licenses (especially older competent drivers)?
Another great concern is driving schools who bring out people in peak traffic who has to do all the observations and remain stationary for up to 5 minutes or longer.
Thanks for addressing the chaos on our roads and the loopholes in our traffic laws and application thereof.