CLAMDOWN ON SPEEDING TAXIS Amended regulations to the National Road Traffic Act will see new taxis, buses and trucks fitted with a speed limiter from December 2016. SAPA
(Update - Wheels24 received dozens of emails and comments regarding new SA road rules. Click here to view our readers' responses.
WESTERN CAPE - Amended regulations to the National Road traffic Act (NRTA), published in the Government Gazette, revealed government’s efforts to increase compliance and improve safety on our roads.
Amendments include speed limiters for public transport and a system which would keep track of driving offences.
PUBLIC TRANSPORT SPEED LIMITERS
Amended regulations published:
1 Regulation 32A, requiring for all to provide proof of address for Natis within one year of promulgation.
2 Regulation 215 requiring, from December 1 2016, new taxis, buses and trucks will have to be fitted with a speed governor (80km/h for trucks, 100km/h for taxis and buses).
3 Regulations relating to provisional driving licences, and the promulgation of a list of offences for which a driving licence will be suspended for 24 months, making the process of attaining a driving licence more stringent.
According to the NRTA: “Amendment of regulation 215 of the Regulations 53. Regulation 215 of the Regulations is hereby amended by the substitution for sub-regulation(1A) of the following sub-regulation:
"(1A) No person shall operate a-
(c) bus, or
(d) goods vehicle, the gross vehicle mass of which exceeds 3 500 kilograms, first registered after December 1 2016, unless such minibus, midibus, bus or goods vehicle is fitted with a speed governor, restricting the speed of such motor vehicle to the speed limits as contemplated in regulation 293."
Click here to read the regulations in the NRTA
Wheels24 has contacted the department of transport and public works regarding comment on speed limiters for public transport.
HORROR CHILD ROAD DEATHS
One of the most notable amendments is “Regulation 213(d)(6A)” which states that infants (up to three-years-old) must be transported in appropriate child seats when “travelling in private vehicles”. The regulation, to be ratified by Chief Magistrates, could come into effect in April 2015.
According to the Western Cape department of transport and public works: “The NRTA had previously not made any provision for the protection of children aged from zero to three years.”
An analysis conducted by the province’s road safety campaign, Safely Home, using fatality data from the Forensic Pathology Services of the Western Cape’s department of health, showed that the majority (53.42%) of young children, who died as passengers in road crashes, were recovered outside or under vehicles.
Click here to view Western Cape child road death stats (2011 - 2013)
The department of health stated: “The presence of the body outside the vehicle is a near-certain indicator that the child was not restrained or was improperly restrained, as ejection does not occur when an appropriate child restraint is used.
“The presence of the body inside the vehicle, however, is not an exclusionary factor in determining if the child was restrained or not. The analysis therefore erred on the side of caution by default.”
The data is indicative of a minimum of two children being killed on Western Cape roads each month after being ejected from a vehicle during a road crash, reports the department.
Passengers ejected from a crash face a “75% chance of being killed” due to ground impact injuries and collisions with other objects and vehicles.
‘WORSE THROUGHOUT SA’
Donald Grant, Western Cape MEC of transport and public works, said: “There are too often indications of the absence of child restraints amongst child passengers killed in the Western Cape, where road deaths per capita are approximately 38% lower than in South Africa in general. The situation is undoubtedly consistent or worse throughout South Africa.
“The fine for people who offend by not transporting children, aged 0 – 3 years, in appropriate child seats must still be determined following the submission of recommendations on an amount to the Chief Magistrates of different districts for consideration and approval. Recommendations will need to be made in respect of all new offences that have been created by these amended regulations.”
“The Western Cape Government would like to see the extension of the child seat requirement to all children who cannot safely use an adult seat belt. A proposal to this effect will be submitted for the next round of amendments to the NRTA. “
Professor Sebastian Van As, Head of the Trauma Unit at the Red Cross Children’s Hospital comments: “These new amended regulations are a step in the right direction towards the protection of young children on our roads. Parents who can afford to have a vehicle must also be in a position to ensure that their children are appropriately restrained, which will undoubtedly save thousands of young lives that may have otherwise been lost during a crash.”What do you think of the amendments made to the National Road traffic Act? Do you think it will be effective in reducing road deaths? Email us and we’ll publish your thoughts on Wheels24.
Wheels24 received many emails and comments regarding the new regulations. Our readers' responses ranged from calls for improved law enforcement to approval of the new regulations.
Click here to view reader responses