Probation plan for new drivers

2012-06-18 12:11

Cape Town - Calls for safer roads and fewer road deaths have picked up in 2012, so now the ANC wants to implement a raft of changes for drivers and their vehicles.

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.

Passing a driving test will earn a 12-month provisional licence but it won't be valid between midnight and 4am. Six road traffic offences in the year and the licence will be suspended for two years.


New drivers will also have to log every 60 hours of driving and their vehicles will have to display a red “P” denoting their probation status.

Lawmakers are also calling for driving schools to have their instructors and vehicles registered. The location of the driving school and instructor will also need to be provided.

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.

Carlisle wants vehicle owners registered on the transport department's eNaTiS system as they often escape prosecution by providing false details.


Carlise and the Automobile Association have welcomed the changes but the public has only until 6 July 2012 to comment on the proposed regulations. You can, for a start, make your view known in the Readers' Comment section below - or write a thoughtful longer article and we'll publish it.

Wheels24 supports the probation period although there could be a spike in fraudulent licences. Notching up six offences will keep new drivers on their toes though driving between midnight and 4am seems pointless as those are the quietest times on our roads. We suppose this is to reduce the number of drunk drivers driving home from clubs or bars.

As always, SA's transport department has good ideas but the implementation has always been tenuous at best.

Roadworthy tests for vehicles older than 10 years? We guess the ANC hasn't the mettle to go up against the taxi industry here - all vehicles should be roadworthied every year after only two years and servicing record books should be in all vehicles at all times.

What do you think about the new changes? Share your opinions in our comments section below? Or better yet email us and we'll publish your thoughts!

  • raymond.billson - 2012-06-18 13:17

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

  • chris.shield - 2012-06-18 13:22

    Typical government reaction. They think they can fix things by making more laws. There's nothing wrong with the laws as they stand, corruption and lack of enforcement are the problems. Sort those out and the road death toll will drop.

      malcolm.dale - 2012-06-18 13:58

      I agree with you Chris. This is just window dressing trying to take the focus off the major problems in the country - of which corruption is one. What is the sense of trying to fix something that isn't broken? As you say Chris the existing laws are powerful enough - they must just be enforced. Question - what would happen to the blue light brigade who frequently break the law?

      jack.bleck - 2012-06-18 21:21

      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!!!

  • Bigsexy.jm - 2012-06-18 13:22

    They will screw it up- no worries

  • Vic Pitro - 2012-06-18 13:22

    This is a absolute joke. Get the taxis sorted out first, majority are not roadworthy and the drivers don't have licences. But that is never going to happen, too many bribes being paid.

  • James - 2012-06-18 13:25

    All of this pretty pointless seeing that 60% of road deaths involve pedestrians. Keep pedestrians off the roads (hell, the laws already exist) and you've cut road deaths by 60%. Wow.

      Jacques - 2012-06-20 11:30

      YES! YES! YES! I'm with you on this one. I wonder how much electricity we can save by simply removing ALL pedestrian lights at traffic lights, because they simply mean nothing. As a biker this is one of my biggest headaches and if you say something your racist.

  • nomde.plume.7547 - 2012-06-18 13:27

    A wonderful revenue stream as well. What percentage of new drivers actually are a hazard, or are problem drivers? All the others have to suffer silly rules and cannot drive to and from night shifts as a result .... How about better policing of drunken drivers and bad driving? Blanket rules like this are not necessarily the solution, it's just an attempt to avoid the problem. People who are going to offend are going to do so regardless.

  • malan.nico - 2012-06-18 13:31

    and what about the taxi's that have no regard for fellow road users and rules of the road, in what way will they be targeted, seeing that a very large percentage of all accidents involve taxi's or are as a result of taxis?

  • rowan.maulson - 2012-06-18 13:36

    *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.

  • Clara - 2012-06-18 13:36

    It is good to start out with new drivers but I would suggest that they simultaneously also test ALL - inluding Taxi - offenders over the past 2 years and from this basis then get first of all vehicles on the eNaTiS system with valid proof of residence - in the Government's defence I must say that I also have two sons and the first two years of them getting their driver's licences were all but fun - we had to pay numerous fines and they both had accidents during those years although they had been trained by a driving school - kids of between 17 and I would dare to say at least 22 should all be on probation even if only gets their attitude right

  • hannes.toerien - 2012-06-18 13:37

    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.

  • ivan.vandermerwe.10 - 2012-06-18 13:40

    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?

  • jake.neumann.35 - 2012-06-18 13:41

    Testing vehicles older than ten years every two years will require more affordable used cars. Are they going to allow the import of 2nd hand cars from European and Asian countries to accommodate people who cannot pay the horrendous vehicle prices or are they going to drastically drop the tax on vehicles? I see that a Prius is more than R 220 000 cheaper in the USA than what they are here, mainly due to taxation.

      louis.langenhoven - 2012-06-19 19:05

      very good point- in truth 10 years is really not very old and even more so in a 3rd world country- this is just more robbing the poor to pay the rich

  • reva.barendse - 2012-06-18 13:49

    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.

      craig.b.johnston.7 - 2012-06-19 12:06

      no,they`re more interested in sitting on a camping chair in the bush.Chicken licken in one hand,and camera in the other.

  • allan.radue - 2012-06-18 13:56

    Perhaps the ANC should first show us the research which suggests that road deaths are a result of drivers with new licences, new drivers between 00h00 and 04h00 and cars older than 10 years before they introduce new legislation which again over burdons the already over burdoned traffic authorities with even more pointless tests and FEES, which we already cannot afford all the while with Taxis and drunk drivers being the REAL culprits for the majority of the accidents and deaths on our roads - oh well, just another way to bleed the exisitng driving public and NOT REALLY ADDRESS THE PROBLEM!!!!!!

  • Kevin - 2012-06-18 13:58

    With reference to the picture: Since when do we allow learner drivers to train in left-hand drive vehicles?

  • eyesears.handsfeet - 2012-06-18 13:59

    Another BS "law" where the consumer must pay even more to have his/her child get a drivers license (probationary driving). The new laws are not going to stop the deaths on the road, us the ones who are driving with illegal drivers 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. Driving between midnight and 4am not valid? I don't think so specially if you have an emergency and need to get to a hospital and the only one that can drive you is your child if you are unable.

  • debby.timm - 2012-06-18 14:03

    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 deamed 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. They would have to overlook the rust if it is less than a certain percentage in non-important places - in all cars over 10 years old specially for those living at the coast!

  • Danie - 2012-06-18 14:05

    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. turning from a non-turning lane, stoping in roads to on and of-load goods and passengers, obstructing traffic, passing on the left, minimum speed on the highway, overloading and many more. And lately I noticed a common thing...people driving with a learners license with no person in the vehicle with a valid license...

  • jamal.flynn.1 - 2012-06-18 14:08

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

  • lee.theron.9 - 2012-06-18 14:15

    Whose going to say that these new laws implimented will change if they couldn't abide by the laws that are already in place? And why must your provisional 12 month licence not be valid between midnight and 4a.m? Those could be lifts home to some who are out and need a sober driver yet he/she can't drive during those hours being on probation. Stupid and again I can't see what difference it is to worrying about them drinking and driving during those hours to after a year being allowed as they should know from the minute they get their learners or drivers licence that they cannot drink and drive so trying to avoid it during the year of their probation is really stupid.

  • warren.gans.7 - 2012-06-18 14:22

    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 clarical point of view, and to pretect the second hand market. Under the asssumption that important people are reading this: would it be possible to install fixed cameras before each toll gate in the country as a way of calming traffic? it irritates me to no end that they are installed on straight, even roads but rarely before hazardous sections.

      anton.tromp - 2012-06-18 17:01

      Traffic crashes are the single greatest killer of 15 to 24 year olds in OECD countries. And the situation appears to be no better in other, non-OECD countries (source: European Road Safety Observatory). Young people worldwide are far more likely to be victims of road accidents than people in any other age group. More than 67.500 persons aged 16-24 years old were killed in traffic accidents, in 14 European Union countries within the decade 1997 - 2006. Young people are at twice the risk of being killed in a road accident than people of other age groups in Europe. For the United States, crash rate for 16 to 19 year-olds is 2.7 times higher than drivers of all ages (source: California Department of Motor Vehicles). In Europe, young males account for more than 89% of the overall fatalities of young people

  • chez.kri - 2012-06-18 14:25

    After driving on Joburg roads for well over 20 years i can say with confidence that the people causing accidents are NOT young drivers but rather, older, more "windgat" people who think they drive like Jodi blo*dy Schekter! We have to change their mindset, where driving home drunk after "Puza Thursday" in NOT considered cool.

  • chez.kri - 2012-06-18 14:28

    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.

  • roy.wadhams.1 - 2012-06-18 14:33

    More money to be stolen by ANC/Government. Do they for one moment think that all those unroad worthy taxis will ever be taken off the road. My 1992 Toyota is in a better condition than thousands of cars on the roads and I am a pensioner living off a fixed income so why must I suffer even more because this governments ungovernable laws. Bunch of bloody idiots

  • chadgriff - 2012-06-18 14:47

    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 license 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. But the cost of the current system will just make matters worse as there will now be even less money for us to carry out the repairs and maintenance to ensure that our vehicles remain roadworthy. On the topic of getting a drivers license, this is an absolute disaster, it takes about 3 months before you can get a booking! When I did my Code 8 drivers 8 years back you could easily get a booking within 3 weeks, now when trying to expand my license to a Code 14, it is almost not worth the effort and hoops you have to jump through. I cant see that this proposed new system will improve anything except make the testing officers richer through the process of bribery and corruption.

  • thizwilondi.mofamadi - 2012-06-18 14:55

    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

  • Ebrahim Johnson - 2012-06-18 15:02

    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 cant 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. Now they need to make the time it takes to get a booking less,and probation time less,and make it easier to get your license in the first place, then there will not be so much corruption. They should empower the youth, by bringing the licensing back to schools as a subject like they use to do in the older days.

  • denny.cray - 2012-06-18 15:20

    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.

  • Shaun.xexo - 2012-06-18 15:27

    Do these people have nothing better to do with their time??? My girlfriend has been unfairly failed on her license 4 times, 3 of which I was there watching... It is already incredibly difficult to get a legal license, so nobody bothers to do it anymore and they just drive without a license. Sort out the corruption in the testing stations and perhaps more people will apply.

  • charles.wolfaardt1 - 2012-06-18 15:48

    Unfortunately the present regime does not have a clue what happens on the roads. All public transport vehicles to be roadworthied on a yearly basis. All drivers and owners to be registered ans a record kept of such persons. First fine normal, second fine double up third fine double up, for both owner and driver. All speedster above 15% of speed limit to be locked up without bail until court hearing. No suspended sentence for above 30% the speed limit. Over 40% above no licence start all over again. All traffic officers to be on the roads , not behind desks. There are enough retirees who can handle desk jobs on a semi permanant 1/2 day basis.

  • anton.tromp - 2012-06-18 17:11

    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. A major problem we face is the corrupting at licensing station. You are bound to fail if you don’t use certain driving school, the "driving schools" know if they pay the testing officer his student passes. So if you don’t use those driving schools the inspector does not get his bribe so you fail. That where the problem lies. Clean this up and you wont have so many fake drivers

  • Kobus - 2012-06-18 17:42

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

  • mario.torrente.18 - 2012-06-18 18:15

    It will be a good thing to put these new drivers on a five year probation period before they drive taxis.

  • marinus.moolman - 2012-06-18 18:20

    Please publish the complete proposed Regulation 107A as it is not only 24 month suspension for 6 offences. 1 x exceeding speed limit = 24 month suspension, 1 x having alcohol on breath (No limit specified)= 24 month suspension

  • kseyffert - 2012-06-18 18:52

    hmm, I would not worry about the taxi industry. They will strike and block the roads and then will be given an exclusion and of coarse any driver who can show that he/she works as a taxi driver (I guess a letter from Mum aught to do it)will automatically be given the licence...

  • lioneldelange - 2012-06-18 19:38

    F@#*ing joke. Where are most of the problems? Taxis and trucks. As it is they dont go after the taxis because its to difficult. most tof these idiots dont have fixed addresses anyway. Its just a way to target the whites again. F@#$ South Africa

  • Kim - 2012-06-18 20:02

    What is the purpose of new laws when even the current ones do not apply to taxis and taxis are the biggest problem on our roads???

  • sontie.bruwer - 2012-06-18 20:12

    Come on people! This goverment 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 neccesary.

  • ray.theron - 2012-06-19 00:04

    These measures are in force, to some degree or more, in most Australian states, but even here the problem is enforcement. In NSW young drivers are on two years probation, but P-platers (as they are known)still constitute over 50% of all road fatalities and are involved in the bulk of traffic offences and/or accidents, simply because there is pathetically little in the line of enforcement. You can spend DAYS on the road and never see a single policeman or police vehicle, while drivers pretty much break every law there is....

  • njsvanwyk - 2012-06-19 06:25

    This is a very good idea.This is similar in many ways to the Australian driving license applications. What I would also like to see is roadworthy inspection every year when you renew the car license. Also each car should have basic insurance and a license should not be issued unless you can provide valid insurance documents. The driving after midnight should be for drivers under the age of 25 as this will hopefully what I think, is to eliminate drunk driving and speeding by young and brave drivers

  • kingswing69 - 2012-06-19 06:45

    first of all sort out these taxis you stupid Govt

  • vincent.sutherlanddadds - 2012-06-19 07:05

    As proven daily, implementation of any road/traffic legislation = mission impossible, implausable, let alone any new legislation.

  • Paul - 2012-06-19 08:42

    The midnight to 4am is a problem because some of the people work shifts or irregular hours

  • Eric - 2012-06-19 08:50

    I fully agree with Wheels24. The government lacking of implementing new strucutres and the rise in fraudelent licenses will be a huge issue. Also shouldnt they first sort out the huge backlogs at the testing facilities ? The long ques on renewing licenses? Lack of support staff? I certainly hope that not only vehicles older than 10 years will need a roadworthy test. You cant implement a method to reduce risk but then create another by means of not being more strict on roadworthy vehicles. Becasue lets face it Sout Africa, its the vehicles in which we drive that are also involved in accidents therefore not just the driver but the vehicle itself needs to be in order.Eric.

  • boitumelo.thokwana - 2012-06-19 08:52

    I agree with the roadworthy tests which are to be enforced. But this still does not resolve any of the problems we have when booking for licenses and corruption. The government should focus more on improving their internal systems first. In this day and age everything is still a manual process.

  • graham.mcglashan - 2012-06-19 14:13

    love the idea, but how to monitor it is my question. Can't monitor Taxis let alone cell phone users whilst driving. Road worthy certificates every 2 years, great, but here is another opportunity for bribery and corruption.

  • Tashbbz - 2012-06-23 23:18

    I don't find this rule to be helpful. The rule that stands is enough. Why implement new rules as if its gonna change the situation? Its just going to cost more and more money for South Africans... I bet they don't care... Living lavishly on the fat of the land. Why don't they produce something that will actually benefit the country, keeping in mind that a quarter of the nation is unemployed...

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