No new South African road rules yet

2017-03-15 06:04

LAST year Wheels24 reported on new draft road and traffic regulations for South Africa released by the Department of Transport.

Draft regulations, intended to reduce road deaths, 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.

As of 2017, the regulations have yet to be ratified. The Automobile Association (AA) shares some insight as to why these regulations haven’t been implemented.

The draft regulations, propose these five changes to legislation:

1. Drivers to be re-evaluated when renewing a licence

2. No more than five people to be carried in a bakkie load bed

3. Children not to be transported in a bakkie load bed

4. Speed limits to be reduced from 60 to 40 km/h in urban areas, from 100 to 80 km/h in rural areas and from 120 to 100 km/h on freeways running through a residential area

5. Goods vehicles above 9 000 kg GVM to be banned from public roads during peak travelling times.

The AA said: “In 2015, a proposal was published to reduce speed limits substantially. The same document proposed banning heavy vehicles from the roads between certain hours. However, lots of fairly draconian actions are proposed by the DoT, but few become law; they are either rejected outright or watered down in committee.

“In the case of the speed and operating hours provisions, neither has been enacted as law and the status quo remains unchanged. In our opinion, both proposals are without merit, and we made submissions to the department to that effect.

“It would be more productive for people to make submissions to the DoT during the comment period …”

How traffic laws are implemented in SA:

The AA explains that the minister of Transport is entitled to make new regulations to the National Road Traffic Act (NRTA), or change or repeal old ones. This process starts with the Department of Transport (DoT) issuing a proposed amendment for comment, which is published in the Government Gazette.

A comment period follows during which the public can give its input on the proposal.

“Once the comment period closes, the DoT will then consider the comments received from the public and then decide how to proceed. The law-making process is quite flexible, and just because something is proposed in the Government Gazette doesn’t mean it will necessarily become law.

“Every proposal is published with contact details … We advise people to make use of these opportunities so they can safeguard their rights by opposing some of the questionable regulatory proposals published by the department,” the AA explained. — Wheels24.

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