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Reducing speed limits in SA: More than 14 000 say 'No, it won't make a difference'

2017-03-17 11:17

Janine Van der Post

NO NEED TO LOWER SPEED LIMITS: Wheels24 user Eric believes a proposed law to reduce limits won't reduce road deaths in SA. Image: iStock

Cape Town  -  Draft regulations, intended to reduce road carnage, include lower speed limits, the banning of transporting children in a bakkie's load bay and restricting the use of heavy vehicles on public roads.

These new SA road rules  are set to be implemented during the course of 2017, according to the Department of Transport.

Road regualtions

In recent months a fair amount of concern has been expressed by motorists due to proposed changes to road regulations which will affect most drivers on the road.

Changes to the speed limit is one area where some of the most concern is being raised. According to lawyer Alta Swanepoel and Associates, the proposed changes will affect all motorists.

She said: “The proposal changes the speed limit from 60km/h to 40km/h and from 100km/h to 80km/h in urban areas. This applies to everyone.”

While the limits have not yet been changed for motor vehicles this is not so for mid-sized commercial vehicles.

READ: New road rules for SA - What's going on with the speed limit?

Swanepoel said: “A speed reduction for goods vehicles with a gross vehicle mass between 3 500kg and 9 000kg is already in effect. The proposal was added on 11 November 2016. The maximum speed limit is now 100km/h for these vehicles.” 

In a recent poll we asked Wheels24 readers their opinion on the new speed limit rule:

Readers respond:

Peter Kruger: It's all very well to change the laws, but there is a big but. Who on earth is going to police those laws? Those making the laws need to come down out of their ivory offices to ground floor. Traffic officers do-not work after 4pm. Why don't the traffic departments work shift like the SA Police. I suppose the usual excuse no money to pay overtime. When last have you seen a traffic cop on a bike? Almost never.

Modupi Motaung: I don't think this will work because most of accidents are not caused by speeding they are caused by majority of  motorists who have their driver's licenses unlawfully because of the corrupt traffic officials. I don't understand why most drivers go for code 10 because they say it's simple. I don't think it's wise to have code 10 knowing exactly that you're going to drive the car you have, not test drive. For most people have code 10 instead of code 8, because they say the latter is difficult that's why they get trouble when they hit the road cause they do not qualify to drive code 8 cars.

I know how to drive, and I know the rules of the road. I have been to driving school for six months in 2014. I passed my learners, but I failed my test drive of code 8 because I did not want to pay. Even today I'm left with the memory of my learner licence and I will never go back there to buy licence. I will rather be without it rather than buying it. Many people think that once you have a licence, you qualify to drive. They forget that licence does not drive, but you do.

Malakamat: The first thing the Transport minister must do is to stop traffic police to collect money from the motorists. The second thing is traffic police must not hide themselves on the road. The speed does not kill only, behaviour of the driver kills. This speed reduction will cause more traffic and that will increase the accidents on the road.

Brian Rawlins: If the current rules were policed correctly there would not be a need to change them.
I like the idea of 9000 kg vehicles off the road at peak times. 

Jehan Mohd: Yes you can reduce the limit, but taxis - all types - will just do as they please, as always. Be harder on those jumping robots/riding in emergency lanes /on your backside, cutting in, crossing solid lines , and mostly, drunken driving - that will help the carnage greatly.
Such  a slow  speed,  I  run faster than 40km/h, I will fall asleep at that speed and that's worst than drinking and driving etc.

Carol vd Brink: “There isn't much wrong with RSA's laws etc, the problem is that they are not being applied. Even when offenders are fined there is insufficient determination for consequences to offenders.” 

Russell Anthea: “Why re-evaluate drivers with more than 50 years experience of accident free driving when the evaluator is NOT as qualified if at all? No passengers on Bakkies - good. Introduce a points system on drivers. Renewing licences is just another scheme ripe for corruption. 40Kph in town and cities is nothing less than stupid, in any event who shall monitor it? What is not happening is introducing a system of penalising ill disciplined drivers . Further, I do not believe many of the apparent "New" licensed drivers understand the rules of the road. Mini bus taxi's are among the worst offenders of road rules and discipline. All in all, those suggesting or making the changes to the rules too, are probably not qualified either.”

Karen Brown: A law is only as effective as the enforcement of it. I wonder what procedures have been proposed to monitor adherence to these new laws.

Andy Visser: Reduction of speed limits will be useless! What needs to be changed is Driver Education! Elimination of bribery and corruption of traffic officers.
Illegal issuing of licences for a fee is causing untrained, incapable and poor driving habits. Removal and crushing of unroadworthy vehicles must be implemented as in the UK.

Mrs A M Manual: Drivers in whatever mode of transport do not keep to the speed limits now, what is reducing speed limits going to help? There are never any traffic police on the roads and mainly the highways. The other day I was driving in the N1 and a taxi drove into the emergency lane and instead of turning (as the road turned on that lane) he went straight and very nearly pushed 2 cars out the way. So who is going to monitor these lower speed limits and bad and dangerous driving, if there's not enough highway patrols to check on this? We pay tolls for better roads but what is being done about educating drivers? This is just a waste of taxpayers money AGAIN! 

Phuti Arthur: The issue here it's not speed it's police officers and road traffic officers condoning all bad behavior or should I say wrong doing by taking bribes, for example just and check N12 from daveyton going to Zimbabwe, the trailers are overloaded every week with traffic officers fighting to take bribes from drivers, people are dying yet the government want to implement some silly changes, solve the problem and leave the assumption aside, u know the course but you shift your focus. Mxm. 

Anon: These proposed changes WILL NOT change the rate of road deaths because these proposed changes do not target the ACTUAL problems causing deaths. In fact, they are a mockery because they are just designed to increase revenue into the ANC coffers WITHOUT addressing the serious fraud being committed in the traffic department and WITHOUT addressing the actual main causes of road deaths.  Address the real causes: take away licences of people who drink and drive; fire traffic officials who sell licenses to unskilled drivers and who take bribes; massively fine overloaded and non-roadworthy taxis and trucks; apprehend and fine drivers who jump robots and those who text and drive.

Thembi Fono: Normal reckless drivers, tiredness and incompetent traffic officers that take/looking for bribes on the road instead of enforcing laws. Officers that have taxis and fine only vehicles from other provinces. Changing law will never be a solution, it will create more problems for traffic department with long waiting list for testing drivers and add to waiting list of the first applications for new drivers. 


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