Driver probation - readers respond

2012-06-19 09:16

CAPE TOWN - The government wants to implement a raft of changes for drivers and their vehicles as part of a campaign to reduce road deaths in South Africa.

Among them are tougher regulation of driving schools and instructors, roadworthy test for vehicles older than 10 years every two years and a probation system for new drivers.

New drivers will have to complete a year of probationary driving before they receive a full driving licence. If they commit certain offences during the probation period they will have to start the licence process all over again.


Western Cape MEC for transport and public works, Robin Carlisle, has given his support for the changes - which also include providing proof of address for traffic-related transactions such as paying fines.

Our readers had plenty of suggestions, criticisms and witticisms regarding the proposed changes. Many readers were in favour of the changes to the driving licence process as they believed it would reduce road deaths among first time drivers.

Unsurprisingly, many vehicle owners were unhappy with proposed changes to the roadworthy tests, though some would comply if it meant fewer unroadworthy taxis and buses.

The government has never been short on adding new laws or coming up with new systems, the trouble has always been in the implementation thereof (eNatis, e-tolling etc). Many of our readers called for current legislation to be improved rather than introducing the proposed changes.

Some of our readers had other suggestions on improving our roads such as stopping the e-tolling process, educating traffic officers and setting up roadblocks at stadiums hosting sport or entertainment events.

Below are some of our top comments:

Calls to improve current laws

sontie.bruwer - Come on people! This government should wake up! Making more laws will only put more money into government pockets and not change anything further. First enforce the current laws (yes-including the taxi-industry they created by stuffing up public transport!) and no further laws should be necessary.

Kobus - Just enforce the laws we have!!! Making new ones will solve nothing as they too will not be enforced.

DennyCray - Classic government response to inadequately enforced laws - add more laws which will require more resources to be diverted to satisfying red tape requirements rather than actual real "on the street" law enforcement.

rowan.maulson - *mutter* Instead of making new unenforceable laws, why not just enforce the ones you already have, which are just fine. Typical reaction to a problem in this country, try legislate it out of existence, and make it infinitely worse in the process.

Driving licence changes

Shaun.xexo - Do these people have nothing better to do with their time??? My girlfriend has been unfairly failed on her licence 4 times, 3 of which I was there watching...

eyesears.handsfeet - Another BS "law" where the consumer must pay even more to have his/her child get a driving license (probationary driving). The new laws are not going to stop the deaths on the road, us the ones who are driving with illegal licenses are still out on the road and nothing are being done to check the licenses. I would really like to know what the ministers are smoking.

jackblack - When you can go into your local traffic department and book a driver's test within a week - then they can think about implementing this crap. Until then, get these idiots to use their brains to sort out the driver's test backlog situation. Useless morons!!!

Roadworthy test

- Ridiculous, we have to take time of our busy schedule to go for a roadworthy, r they f?%$# crazy. That’s like 3-hrs of going back and forth. They just wanna screw us of more money. What next I wonder?

- My car is 10 years old and is in all aspects roadworthy except for a SMALL amount of rust - so if they enforced that law my car would be deemed unroadworthy. That is unacceptable probably not just to me but to a lot of people living at the coast. I have enough money to keep my car roadworthy in all the important aspects - now I would have to find the money to have the itty bitty rust places fixed and the car re-sprayed.

- would certainly bring down the amount of unroadworthy vehicles - an absolute minefield to administer - but if you do not start somewhere....

Against the changes

ivan.vandermerwe.10 - Just another way to fill the coffers, no concern for road safety here. Do they really think the Taxi industry give a damn about road safety?

authorized - Good way for the government to make additional money off of a process that is already so *u*king tedious that half the people applying for licenses don't want to go through the effort. Great job ANC.

nomde.plume.7547 - A wonderful revenue stream as well.

For the changes

anton.tromp - The probation for new drivers is brilliant, drivers between 18-25 are 2.7 times more likely to have an accident, 89% of those are young males. This is because they over estimate their abilities and under estimate the complexity of the situation.

Ebrahim Johnson
- I think they should make the probation 3 months and not 12 Months, at the end of the day, if they make the laws more strict, they will force the majority of people that can’t afford to go and pay hundreds of Rands to get a booking and test, and wait up to six months to get an appointment, to go the illegal route.

chadgriff - This idea might work if the process to renew our vehicles license and re-roadworthy this vehicle was efficient and not ridiculously expensive! Currently it costs R200+ for a roadworthy and licence renewal is a further R270+ and then still at least half a day to get roadworthy and license if you lucky? It is a very good idea to keep check of the growing number of un-roadworthy vehicles on our roads.

Warren - I would also like to see the data supporting that accidents mainly happen in the first year of driving and between midnight and 4am, however I still think it is a good idea as anyone driving that late is most likely either drunk or tired. I drive a 40 year old car and am happy to have it road worthied every 2 years, however I think testing cars 15-20 years and older would make more sense purely from a clerical point of view, and to protect the second hand market.

reva.barendse - I think it's a fantastic idea. Hopefully the roads will become a bit safer. However, will the metro police be able to police this? Well, that's another whole debate.

Other suggestions

chez.kri - How about road blocks to test for drunk driving outside every sport stadium after a game? Now check how many thumbs down I get by people who drive drunk and really don't want there to be roadblocks! YOU are the guys that cause the accidents and have the wrong, arrogant attitude.

curriemafia - What about getting a Code 10 licence with no parallel parking/alley docking driving a Code 8 vehicle? This is common practice.

Open mind - We also need to educate our Police and Metro officers, they don't know the law and see many things as normal as they grew up with this.

thizwilondi.mofamadi - This ANC, now they are trying new system, because they fail with this issue of e-toll. They must stop try to mislead people and come with the solution, to bring down the cost of the fuel. St**p ANC

Share your thoughts in our Readers' Comments section below and take part in our roadworthy tests poll in our homepage voting booth!

  • Ebon - 2012-06-19 09:50

    Enforce the laws we have. Introducing new laws with no plan of how to actually enforce them is an utter waste of time.

      arthur.hugh - 2012-06-19 10:28

      Imagine everyone (all drivers, fleets and corporate vehicles) in two years time queuing up to roadworthy their vehicles... it would be mayhem. Beginning of the year I was hit by a taxi that tried to over take me while I was turning. No PDP licence, no Drivers License and no insurance... cops fined the driver and sent him on his way. I had to fork out to fix my own car, since the taxi owner lived in Durban and just laughed me off. There's no enforcement or justice NOW so these laws would just screw the legitimate, law-abiding tax payers.

  • Nukki - 2012-06-19 10:02

    as usual, government can't see the consequent of their actions!!

  • rod.cramb.1 - 2012-06-19 10:47

    So, as I understand it, if my daughter gets her licence and gets named designated driver for the night and goes out with her mates, she can't drive them home after midnight? Okay, so here's a solution....we'll use a drunk driver who's had a licence for two years to do the driving. Huh? Who was the brain surgeon who dreamed this one up?

  • rod.cramb.1 - 2012-06-19 11:36

    Ok, so if I read this correctly, my non-drinking 18 year old with a 10 month old licence gets the "designated driver" job, but can't take anyone home after midnight. So here's the solution, we'll just get a seriosly drunk 21 year old who's been driving for 3 years to take them home. Huh? Who was the brain surgeon who dreamed this one up?

  • colin.ashby.35 - 2012-06-19 12:47

    govt sees only todays problems and not tomoro's . 2d thinking again

  • rafiek.alexander - 2012-06-19 12:56

    I do agree to a point but first enforce the law on taxi's and busses it takes one taxi with 16 passengers in it to die all at once it takes a car with max 5 passergers in it to be injured or killed enforce the law that no Taxi or bus will be allowed to carry any passengers with out insurance with out a every 3 month road worthy certificate and drivers PDP checked.Taxi owners must be held accountable for the people that they employe.our Public transport that is being enforced on people to use gives no carrenty for safety and abiding to the road usage law on how we must use it.And will this law exclude govermend officials and law officers that lives above the law.Be more harse on murderers and rapers and on drivers texting on there cellphones while driving causing accidents as 90% of most accidents are people being on there cell phones.

  • pat.aldrich.96 - 2012-06-19 12:59

    Obviously there is not enough money to steal so try another way to make more. Hopeless lot of money suckers. No law and order on the roads because of no officers to do the necessary enforcement apart from speed

  • liesl.harris1 - 2012-06-19 13:30

    i just got my drivers licence at the tender age of 36. and the only time i rode a car was with the driving school. my husband refuses me touching the steering wheel of his car. a driving school asks R140 per hour. you want the probation students to fork out R140 x 60 per period. an average learners lesson package is usually 10 lessons plus R500 for the car on driving test day plus R135 / R140 for licence. and should you fail, you have to start all over again to build up the confidence. jislaaik. i'm broke. and i had to do this 4 times. how much money do you think the parents have? even normal people like me? i had to beg, borrow and steal the money just to make it the forth time. it's like taking a home loan for driving. And now you want this new law to pass. is die ANC nie al klaar korrup genoeg nie? wat soek hulle nog geld voor? hulle klink meer soos n NG en gee en gee en gee maar doen niks nie. kyk hoe dik is hulle klaar. ons betaal nie vir die paaie nie, ons stop net koffers vol van geld wat alewig gemors word op naams veranderinge en useless goed.

  • badballie - 2012-06-19 14:00

    Its seems that the ANC's corrupt greedy scramble for money will continue long after their thirst is quenched, in fact it's not even their thirst that must be quenched, they simply will take until there is nothing left and then find another avenue to use to get whatever they have missed. This proposal is unnecessary, and nothing more than a money making racket, and yes when we talk of organised crime we talk of rackets

  • dewet.vorster - 2012-06-19 14:38

    People who have afixed abode and look after their cars anyway will be the ones footing the bills. Those poor people who hardly have fuel will not be going for the tests and drive around anyway. Corruption will come back through the roof (It can't go up through the roof again. Corrupt roadworthy agencies will thrive. Teach people to drive properly and leave this k53 crap. Did you ever observe a learner at a stop sign. Ludicrous.

  • Abdul - 2012-06-19 14:44

    get rid of the greedy examiners at testing centres and all the croooked traffic offciers>The biggest problem is that bribery allows people to get away with unroadworthy vehciles. Even people who cant drive, cvan get licenecs. without going for a test

  • Devin.F.1991 - 2012-06-19 17:20

    I see buses and taxis everyday which are visibly unroadworth to the point of being death traps - endangering the lives of many innocent people. Government will certainly apply their new laws to "normal" drivers, but will they capitulate to the taxi industry again (as they've recently done in Durban? The government would do better to research which motoring sector sees the most accidents and fatalities (i.e. public transport/road freight/private transport) and apply the laws - especially the roadworthiness ones - most heavily there, using the stats as solid, irrefutable backing for their enforcement. Taxis speed past me at well over 120km/h on the N2 in Cape Town EVERY DAY! Don't believe me? Check out the CCTV footage... That is one of myriads of examples of dangerous driving by taxi drivers. One only needs read the news to see how many poor folk are killed in these ballistic missiles on wheels. Government, you want to lower road deaths? How about sorting out the taxi industry first?!

  • Steynje - 2012-06-22 09:35

    It makes sense that they want to change the law. But how will this affect these ruthless Taxi drivers? Oh wait, they don't apply. They own the roads. They do as they please. Saw about 10 Taxi's pass me on the YELLOW LINE (because when you drive a taxi, you don't have to wait in traffic) a few days ago. Also in the traffic queue was a Metro cop, and they DID NOTHING. So what's the point of having new laws, when the people who is supposed to enforce them, don't? It's just a money making scheme if you ask me.

  • marentia.wantenaar - 2012-06-22 10:01

    I really do not see the point in this as unfortunately it will be another law that will not yield results. The basic problem is that there is no discipline, total disregard for the laws of the road, no driver courtesy,once behind a wheel they think they own the road and that reckless driving cannot kill or maim. Top priority is we do not have visable policing on the roads - I have seen many instances on the highways and public roads where the police are the biggest culprits and they definitely don't stop people who are guilty - they cannot even enforce the existing laws.

  • pages:
  • 1