January 30, 2017

Brace yourselves for new road rules

Almie Fourie

In November last year, the South African Government published proposed changes to the National Road Traffic Regulations in the National Gazette.

Motorists can expect changes to road rules to be implemented from 1 May.

The National Department of Transport believes that new regulations will decrease the death-toll on South African roads.

The changes to driving regulations will affect each and every one of us and will include the following:

  1. You will have to undergo a practical re-evaluation before you can renew your driver’s licence (exactly what this practical re-evaluation comprises is unclear at this stage);
  2. Speed limits in urban areas will be reduced from 60km/h to 40km/h;
  3. Speed limits in rural areas will be reduced from 100km/h to 80km/h;
  4. Speed limits on freeways running through a residential area will be reduced from 120km/h to 100km/h;
  5. Stricter speed regulations on heavy goods vehicles will limit their speed based on weight. These vehicles will be obliged to display a sticker reflecting a speed limit of “100km/h”;
  6. Heavy goods vehicles above 9,000kg GVM (gross vehicle mass) will be banned from public roads during peak traffic times, meaning that retailers and distributors will have to ensure that their delivery times fall outside peak periods;
  7. No more than 5 people and NO children may be carried in a bakkie load bed;
  8. A revamp of the current K53 test.

The South African public has responded strongly towards these proposed change. Questions raised include how the new road rules would help when the current rules are poorly enforced.

However, although frustration is understandable, considering that 1 700 people lost their lives on South African roads over the festive period and the current disarray on our roads in general, it is clear that something has to be done.

If changes to the National Road Traffic Regulations guarantees the safety of road users, shouldn’t we consider at least appreciating the attempt to decrease the death-toll? After all, we may just help each other arrive alive…

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