Random driver test plan horrifying

2015-04-09 18:12


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Johannesburg - Justice Project SA (JPSA) has described discussions within government to introduce a system where metro police officers could randomly stop motorists and retest their driving as horrifying.

"Whoever came up with this nonsensical notion should be fired immediately, before they get the opportunity to further facilitate corruption," national chair Howard Dembovsky said on Thursday.

"Firstly, very few traffic officers, let alone metro police men or women are qualified driving licence examiners and, secondly, randomised retesting is not the solution to the widespread systemic corruption in the issuing of driving licenses."

Eyewitness News reported on Thursday that Transport Minister Dipuo Peters had said government were in talks to soon introduce the system.

The minister, speaking on Wednesday, said this would rid the roads of people who had driving licenses, but who could not actually drive. 

According to the report, Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) CEO Makhosini Msibi said the National Road Traffic Act empowered traffic officers to do this.

On Wednesday, Peters released the Easter weekend road deaths statistics, with a record 208 crashes resulting in 287 deaths, compared to the previous year where 148 crashes resulted in 193 deaths.

"Surely by any standard and imagination, we just cannot accept this behaviour on our roads. Our roads cannot be death traps. It is the intransigent human conduct that is responsible for mowing our people to death," the minister said in a speech prepared for delivery.

Dembovsky said that, contrary to what Msibi claimed, the National Road Traffic Act did not empower traffic officers to randomly retest any person at the roadside, especially if they are not a qualified driving license examiner.

"The most obvious solution to the problem of so-called 'defective' driving licenses is to require mandatory retesting of drivers on renewal of their driving licenses every five years, but in order for this to be feasible, corruption must be eradicated," he said.

"Should the Department of Transport and their state-owned corporations decide to proceed with this ridiculous, corruption-enabling idea, JPSA will not hesitate to stand in its way and do everything possible to prevent this illegal practice from proceeding."

The transport department was not immediately available for comment.

Read more on:    jpsa  |  dipuo peters  |  johannesburg  |  local government

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