Trucks face rush-hour ban

2015-04-18 00:00

TRANSPORT companies will not take the proposed new regulations limiting the movement of trucks on public roads “lying down”, they warned yesterday.

The new regulations state that goods vehicles with a gross vehicle mass that exceeds 9 000 kg cannot be on a public road between 6 am and 9 am and 5 pm and 8 pm from ­Monday to Friday, except on public holidays.

Transport Minister Dipuo Peters has proposed the restrictions to curb road deaths.

Transport companies in KwaZulu-Natal say the new regulations have not been properly considered and will have a negative impact on their businesses.

The proposal could have serious implications because the province is a corridor for goods coming in and out of the country, and hundreds of trucks use the N3 route daily.

“We cannot just accept this,” said a manager of a transport company in Pietermaritzburg who asked not to be named.

“It’s not really going to work because goods being delivered are required at the places they are being delivered to at certain times,” he said.

“They tried this on the M13 in Pinetown and it did not work. After that horrible accident [where a truck lost control and ploughed into a taxi killing more than 20 people in 2013], they simply stopped the trucks from going down the M13.

“They also tried this in Johannesburg and it was a dismal failure,” continued the manager.

Vishnu Moodley of Onelogix in Durban said the changes would be a problem and they will challenge them.

“The stipulated times are the times that we deliver. Our clients expect that we deliver their products at those times.”

Onelogix delivers a variety of products, including abnormal construction machines.

“This will affect our reliability and profitability because we will be underutilising our trucks. It will bring up all sorts of other issues like congestion at truck stops. We will have to find safe parking for our trucks,” he said.

A manager in another Durban trucking company, who also declined to be named, was more optimistic.

“We will have to plan our routes properly. Our drivers are not allowed to drive for more than a certain number of hours a day and we also do not want them to stop in unsafe places,” he said.

The proposal will face resistance from the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu).

Spokesperson for Satawu Vincent Masoga said they found the minister’s proposal unacceptable.

“We will be meeting with her soon to deal with this.

“This proposal will have a great impact on the workers and we cannot accept that,” he said.

Masoga said the cause of accidents on the road was the lack of preventative policing, not just trucks.

KZN Transport Community Safety and Liaison MEC Willies Mchunu said he wished the new regulations had been implemented already.

“We have a harbour, and many people drive down here to deliver goods. At times, they drive when they are exhausted and that causes accidents. This regulation is something we will be encouraging,” he said.

“We want harsher laws to be implemented so that people will be aware that there are consequences to reckless, negligent driving, including going to jail,” he said.

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