Over 78 000 driving licences cancelled, suspended

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Pretoria - More than 78 000 driving licences have been cancelled and suspended across the country over the past five years.

Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele has warned that several motorists risk going into the New Year without a driving licence.

On Tuesday, Ndebele instructed traffic police to confiscate and provisionally suspend drivers' licences of those arrested for road traffic violations such as driving under the influence of alcohol, reckless driving and speeding.

Transport Department spokesperson, Logan Maistry said between 2006 and 27 December 2011, 75 722 licences and Professional Driving Permits (PrDPs) were cancelled and 3 049 suspended.

He said this year more than 11 500 driving licences have been cancelled or suspended. From January to 27 December 2011, 10 945 driving licences and PrDPs were cancelled and 607 suspended.

Gauteng is in the lead with the license cancellations with 3 047, followed by the Western Cape 2 815, KwaZulu-Natal 1 497, Limpopo 958, Eastern Cape 721, North West 664, Free State 585, Mpumalanga 521 and the Northern Cape 137.

However, the majority of suspensions were in the Western Cape 166, followed by KwaZulu-Natal 159, Eastern Cape 140, Gauteng 65, Northern Cape 41, Limpopo 17, Free State 10 and North West 9.

Since the start of the festive season, more than 1 434 motorists were arrested across the country including 501 for drunk driving, 93 for excessive speed, 37 for reckless and/or negligent driving, 104 for overloading, 420 for not being in possession of valid public transport permits, 16 for not being in possession of a valid driving licence, 22 for false documents and 241 for other offences.

During the same period, 544 379 vehicles and drivers were checked, 117 061 fines issued for various traffic offences and 3 956 un-roadworthy vehicles discontinued from use.

"Together with the Ministries of Police and Justice, as well as the National Prosecuting Authority, we are going all out to ensure that dangerous drivers are removed from the roads.

"Drivers arrested for any offence must have their driving licences suspended or cancelled," he said.

The National Road Traffic Act (NRTA) grants powers to a competent court or authority to cancel or suspend driving licences.

"We want to remind motorists that, in addition to a fine and/or imprisonment, the NRTA also places a duty on courts to suspend or disqualify a driving licence for persons found guilty of drinking and driving, reckless and/or negligent driving and speeding in the case of a first offence for at least six months; a second offence for at least five years; or a third or subsequent offence for at least ten years," the Minister said.

Traffic volumes are expected to increase again from today (29 December) ahead of the New Year. Last Friday, (23 December), traffic volumes peaked at more than 2 000 vehicles per hour along major arterial routes.

With hundreds of motorists arrested across the country during the Christmas long week-end, law enforcement officers will continue to be visible in full force.

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