Rules fright for freight drivers?

2012-07-10 11:49

The South African Road Federation has urged national transport minister Ben Martins to address the crash frequency of heavy freight vehicles on South African roads with more visible and stricter law enforcement.

The federation's operations director, Basil Jonsson, said poor and irresponsible heavy vehicle driver behaviour could be curtailed through fear of falling foul of the law.


Jonsson continued: "Not nearly enough is being done to enforce the seldom observed 80km speed limit for heavy vehicles. Moreover, operators of unroadworthy vehicles should be charged with criminal negligence, the more so when the transport of hazardous substances is involved.

"SARF believes that if the Minister addressed these problems with the same diligence as he has the public transport issue, a considerable improvement in heavy haulage safety would ensue.”

According to SARF, in a series of spot checks conducted on South Africa's major highways by a “group of concerned bodies”, it was revealed that between 60 and 70% of freight vehicles tested had defective brakes or tyres, or both.

SARF notes other contributing factors to the high crash rate as driver fatigue, poor driver health, driver incompetence and inadequate training, overloading, and poor load securing.

  • dhuisamen1 - 2012-07-11 09:07

    I got my license pre K53 and was trained on a truck with inadequate brakes for todays standards. I learned that you go down a pass one gear lower than the one you should be using going up and brakes are only for emergency. The few times trucks got out of controle in those days, was when something broke or the driver was reckless. Now drivers are trained to rely on brakes only and not gears. You do not see this new drivers using gears to go down a pass or slow a truck down. They pass cars down a pass and rely only on brakes and retarders. Retarders trip if they overheat and brakes cannot hold for kilometers on end. It is time drivers get proper training and respect a truck. There is a big differance between driving an empty truck and driving a 56 ton monster.

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