A few years ago, I spent a couple of weeks with some family in New Zealand. I remember that my cousin had just received his licence, but it wasn’t a fully-fledged driver’s licence. There were various limitations. He wasn’t allowed to drive without a licensed driver in the car and he wasn’t allowed to drive after a certain time at night. I remember thinking that it was a great system and wished that we had it in South Africa. It seems that we are catching on…
A few new regulations are currently under consideration to be added to the National Road Traffic Act and this move has been met with widespread enthusiasm by major players in road safety.
The proposed regulations suggest that those who pass their K53 driver’s test are given a temporary licence and will be on probation for 12 months. During these 12 months, the applicant has to complete a driving licence logbook that has to be signed by them and an authorised officer. Also, there has to be a red “P” sign at the back of the applicant’s vehicle that is clear from a distance of 20 metres.
Suspension of the provisional licence can happen if the applicant does one of the following within the 12-month probation period:
Another proposed regulation states that all those wanting to obtain their licence need to provide a proof of residence, drivers have 12 months from the time that the law gets passed to provide valid evidence of their full name, address, ID number and birth date to a licensing authority, and should there be a change of address, drivers have 21 days to report it.
Unroadworthy vehicles cause a lot of accidents on our roads. To counter this, one of the new regulations state that vehicles that are older than 10 years need to go for roadworthy tests every two years, while cars that have been written off by an insurance company will not be allowed to be registered again and using chassis parts from these cars will also be deemed as illegal.
These are just a few of the proposed new laws and, yes, I wonder about the implementation of them, whether or not our traffic services are capable of stepping up and policing offenders of the new system, and if cash-strapped South Africans can really afford a roadworthy test every two years. But I believe it’s definitely a step in the right direction to improving road safety in SA.