The Department of Transport is seeking to implement some new, and somewhat controversial, traffic regulations by the end of 2015. The regulations are intended to reduce the amount of accidents on South African roads and include slower speed limits, the banning of carrying children in a bakkie load bay and restricting the use of heavy vehicles on public roads.
The draft regulations have been published in the latest government gazette and the department opened the changes up to public comment. The new proposed regulations include:
- Speed limits to be reduced:
From 60 to 40km/h on public roads situated within urban areas.
From 100 to 80km/h on public roads situated outside urban areas (i.e. rural areas).
From 120 to 100km/h on freeways running through a residential area.
- Drivers to be re-evaluated when renewing their licence. While there will not be a proposed written test, a driving licence examiner may evaluate the validity of your licence by observation, inquiry and practical test.
- No children, and no more than five people to be carried in a bakkie load bed.
- Goods vehicles above 9000kg GVM (Gross Vehicle Mass) may not operate on a public road during peak travelling times. (In urban areas between 06:00 and 09:00, and 17:00 and 20:00, Monday to Friday, weekends and public holidays are exempt).
As the regulations have already been open for public comment for a while there have been some interesting opinions and poignant speculations made. One of the most outstanding and oft-repeated of these opinions is that the problem does not lie with the laws themselves but with the enforcement of the laws.