SA ROAD RULE CHANGES: Amended regulations to the National Road Traffic Act could see speed limiters fitted to taxis, buses and trucks by December 2016 Image: SAPA
CAPE TOWN - On Tuesday (Nov 11 2014), Wheels24 reported on amended regulations to the National Road Traffic Act (NRTA), which included speed limiters for public transport, a system which would keep track of driving offences and new rules for transporting infants.
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.
NEW SA ROAD RULES
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.
VIDEO: New SA taxi rules - will they obey?
A News24 home page poll drew 13 483 votes after asking readers whether speed limiters for taxis, trucks and buses would reduce road deaths.
Most (6590) said that they believed new regulations would reduce road carnage but only if the law is enforced. About 36% (4808) of respondents welcomed the proposed speed limiters.
Only 2085 respondents said that speed limiters would have no affect on SA's appalling road death statistics.
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 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.
Below are some of our readers' responses:
Duncan Macdonald said: "New laws - not enforcement, so typical of this totally useless government. If only trained, competent and honest people were employed to enforce the existing traffic laws our accident rate could be halved in six months.
"Just like the firearms act - don't bother to enforce the existing laws, just institute a whole new set of laws and in the all will be well."
Mike Bezuidenhout said: "These speed limiters are a start but we should START with traffic cops and the bribes that take place alongside the road.
"Get the taxis and buses through roadworthy every six months and correctly. It's great if they can travel at 60km/h but can they stop? What about them driving in yellow lanes, pushing in front of motorists at traffic lights etc?
"Lets get back to basics. The speed limiter is a start."
Patrick Gera said: "I am very much pleased at such a noble life-saving move. I am behind you all the way. We just hope for a quick introduction of such law before December 2016 please."
Tim O said: "Speed limiters WON'T work. Down hills it will be will be 'into neutral with less control than ever before'. The ONLY way to sort this out is to enforce the laws we ALREADY have. Get the traffic police out of the coffee shops they spend their lives in. Get them out of their luxury cars they sit and sleep in.
"You don't need six cops to sit in two cars and watch a speed camera (this happens regularly near the Lido hotel).
At the two intersections near the Lido the lights have been out for months yet they sit 400m away and harass drivers about rubbish while people don't even slow down for the broken lights.
"Drop them three at a time in an intersection and make them enforce the EXISTING laws in that intersection (red lights, turn signals, markings etc)."
LAW ENFORCEMENT NEEDED
Simon hodson said: "We have traffic officials that cannot police current laws. What difference will new laws make?"
Francois Hugo said: "They can make as many rules and regulations as they want but if they do not enforce them, it does not mean a thing.
"They are not even able to enforce the current rules of the road upon taxis, they will simply modify the new taxis and away they go. The only enforcement that happens is the income-generating kind. Taxis don't pay so they can do what they want anyway."
SA TRUCK SAFETY
Molefe comments: "I Am an OHS officer. What we normally do as part of safety is to conduct a pre-trip checklist and inform the company or owner of potential faults in the plant or vehicle daily. The check list is sent to the the transport department and owner. If faults are not rectified, the owner/company is fined. It's time this was done with public transport.
Nomfundo B Mabaso: "I am loving the whole speed limiters thing. It will help a great deal in reducing deaths resulting from collisions involving public transport.
"The legislature should however also consider monitoring the way in which public transport drivers manoeuvre their vehicles ... and not only focus on speed, speed is but one factor contributing to accidents and injuries and death as a result thereof."
Walter Zimbeva: "I am so glad about the introduction of speed limiters for taxis and buses. I am a truck driver who obeys the speed limit and I was always asking myself why does the government not regulate speed for taxis and buses? This will save a lot of lives on the road."
Bheki Ngema said: "The amendments are progressive and good for the safety of all road users. Law enforcement agencies must ensure compliance in this regard. Taxis must be fitted with speed limiters when purchased and a fitment certificate be issued by traffic authority."
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.