76% of SA drivers break law each day

2010-11-08 15:06

Johannesburg - Drivers on South Africa's roads commit traffic offences on a daily basis, but the planned demerit point system would dramatically curtail these infringements, BP Ultimate and the South African Automobile Association (AA) revealed in a survey on Monday.

A staggering 76% of drivers on SA roads commit traffic offences daily, the survey noted.

Road safety analyst Lawrence Barit said that after drunken driving and fatigue, offences like skipping orange or red lights, not obeying yield signs and the disobeying of other road signs could be said to be the third largest cause of deaths on SA roads.

"Drivers don't realise the accumulative effect (of) millions of small offences on safety on SA roads. It is imperative for drivers to obey the rules of the road that are put in place to prevent accidents," Barit said, commenting on the findings.

Demerit system

But he said the government's planned demerit system would drastically reduce these infringements.

"The success of the demerit point system has been documented in countries such as Spain, where the system came into force in 2006," Barit said.

The percentage of casualties had decreased by 11% in the first two years of its implementation, he added.

Glenda Zvenyika, marketing communications manager at BP, said it was surprising to see just how many drivers make these offences.

"Through our partnerships with organisations like Stay Alert Stay Alive and the AA we are fully committed to creating awareness around safer driving, and thereby make driving a safer mode of travel in SA," Zvenyika said.

  • gregmcdavid - 2010-11-08 15:38

    What crap... we can't even control the taxi's...

  • me - 2010-11-08 15:42

    Not trying to pay the race card, if we take the break down of the population of SA, it roughly 40 million black and 5 million whites. (The rest been colored adn indian). That makes it 8 to 1 ratio. So it's safe to assume that the number of infringements should share the same ratio? There's no saying that black nor white are any better or worse on the road. Considering how many informal settlements there are, tell me how you are going to enforce the quota system. With the taxi drivers, whether he's got a licence or not, tell me, he ai'ny going to earn an living. With all the false licenses, no amount of quota system will work. Get the police/traffic to do what they employed to do and enforce the law and you wont need any quota system. The other problem is the corrupt police/traffic will continue to take backhands and the points will not be deducted. All that happens is the bribe becomes bigger, becasue they can barter with "points". Total waste of time.

      Carl Muller - 2010-11-08 20:35


  • vnieuwb - 2010-11-08 15:42

    I don't agree, the demerit system will only decrease accidents and improve road safety if proper law enforcement takes place. Drivers who skip red robots and don't stop at stop sign needs to be caught in the act first and fined, only then will the system start working. I can't see that happing anytime soon, the traffic autorities simply don't have the polical will to enforce the laws.

  • burmese9 - 2010-11-08 15:45

    Bad driving is a state of mind. How can this culture of no respect or regard for other motorists be fixed?

  • burmese9 - 2010-11-08 15:47

    Bad driving is a state of mind. How can this culture of no respect or regard for other motorists be fixed?

  • torstew - 2010-11-08 15:47

    Surely the demerit system is only applicable to those with legitimate drivers licences, how will this stop those driving illegally (who should be classified has been bad drivers) in committing offences?

  • Deon - 2010-11-08 15:49

    Cannot believe that we are so naive !! No system in world will be effective unless there is active law enforcement. Just 30minutes in any city in SA observing taxi's/drivers on cell phones etc etc will show you how this is not enforced in SA.

  • rumsour - 2010-11-08 15:50

    How much is this system going to cost? The country cannot run an efficient licencing system how are they going to implament a demerit system. Better solution put more traffic police (hiding behind bushes babysitting speed cameras doesn't count) on the roads, visible policing.

  • - 2010-11-08 15:51

    would be more interesting to know what % of traffic offenses lead to highest casualties (excluding speed and drunk driving) and equally which % lead to highest/most fines.

  • Claude - 2010-11-08 15:53

    In France, we can see the result too !!!! 500.000 peoples driving with no more licence!!! and of course insurance!!! Where is the good result!!! the main things that have an effect on the dead in accident is the automatic speed trap!!! because it take you in photo and the ticket is send directly to your home with a small delay to paid , or you go to court if you don't paid!!!!

  • webtron.werner - 2010-11-08 16:06

    100% of Government breaks the law everyday. We're just following the example.

  • Danie B - 2010-11-08 16:13

    I think it is more likely 96% from what I see on the roads. Total lawlessness and disregard of traffic rules by most drivers.

  • bculligan - 2010-11-08 16:21

    Dear Mr Barit - the demerit system will only work when the traffic officials get off their fat bums and actually do traffic enforcement. At the moment, the only offences that will attract demerit points are the speeding offences. Traffice enforcement in South Africa is about making money, it's not about making the roads safer.

  • partick leonard - 2010-11-08 16:23

    The demerit system would work if we had law enforment on the roads - pity we don't

  • clydesta - 2010-11-08 16:53

    It seems that so many people ignore basic road rules. Crossing solid lines is a big one, and the other is not indicating. Most drivers appear to think that indicating BEFORE you turn is optional

  • Apple - 2010-11-08 17:09

    In my humble opinion, it is not speed that kills. It is people that drive recklessly, who do not use their ornamental mirrors, who talk and sms on their cell phones, who do not indicate in and give fair warning of their intentions, who tailgate, who do not stop at stops signs... my favorite happened just this week,,, a woman overtook me at a stop street,,. A teenager with his girlfriend, did not even attempt to stope at a 4way stop, he in fact accelerated through it... if that was my child in the passanger seat, that boy would have a lot of me to deal with... Now this happens daily and all this is what our children see everyday and guess what... when they start driving, they have already picked up mom and dads, terrible temper, aggression, disrespect andbad driving habits...

  • stormeskye - 2010-11-08 17:38

    How do they plan to implement the demerit system, when the largest proportion of drivers disregarding the law have no licence to start with? My next question to the authorities: If the vehicles are not maintained, nor insured, why are they not crushed as in the UK? This would reduce the number of unlicensed vehicles; unlicensed, incompetent drivers and uninsured vehicles on the road. It would also make the roads safer for all and would be a suitable deterrent for those who have no regard for rule of law.

  • Jay - 2010-11-08 19:24

    HAHAHA this is brilliant, make all the laws you want, with a corrupt law "enforcement" nothing will change. hahaha next joke please..

  • Carl Muller - 2010-11-08 20:34

    I see all drivers breaking the law every day. These smart Beemers and Benses talking on their phones. Are they above the law. The complain about the Taxi drivers but it seems the white ladies get in their cars to talk on the phone. And the new mini circles are a joke. The people do not know the rules and if they do, they don't obey them. I WOULD LIKE THE METRO POLICE COME TO THE SUBURBS AND HAVE THEIR FIELD DAY! I LOVE THE NEW RULES.....

  • tomanyusers - 2010-11-09 07:36

    The demerit system only works for legal drivers and as 50% of the people on the road don't have drivers licenses. So what difference is the demerit system really going to make.

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