New warning on licences

2009-12-19 00:00

THE KwaZulu-Natal Transport Department plans to petition the courts to revoke the driving licences of drunk drivers, especially repeat offenders.

Transport and Community Safety and Liaison MEC Willies Mchunu told a passing- out parade of Road Traffic Inspectorate officers yesterday he is deeply concerned that despite numerous arrests of drunk drivers, not a single licence has been cancelled.

“While there are discussions and processes surrounding the issue of revoking licences, the department is legally permitted to make representation in court and ask the judge to revoke the licence, because these people get drunk and drive on the public roads,” he said.

A total of 448 people have been killed on South Africa’s roads since the start of December, 220 more than in the same period last year, according to the national Transport Department.

Mchunu said he wants to see reckless drivers removed from the roads. “Almost all of the accidents on our roads are caused by reckless driving, that is drinking and driving, driving without a valid licence and disobeying the rules of the roads.

“The people here continue to kill each other on the roads. There are other countries where drivers drive on congested roads, where there are no road signs and yet people do not die like they do here.”

Since the beginning of the festive season, 84 families have lost their loved ones in 58 crashes in KZN, Mchunu announced. In the same period, RTI officers have stopped over 89 668 cars and about 16 000 motorists were arrested for various offences.

About 320 were arrested for drunk driving, 2 808 for speeding, 423 for driving unroadworthy vehicles, 1 200 for driving without a licence and 945 for not wearing seatbelts.

Mchunu said the public are fed up with reckless driving. Many people believe that revoking licences will not be enough of a deterrent and that vehicles should be impounded “to teach the driver a lesson”, he added.

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