Reckless drivers may lose licences

Friday, October 4, 2013

Boksburg - In an effort to reduce the on-going fatal crashes on the roads, government is planning to revoke the driver’s licences of reckless motorists, who breach the rules of the road.

The warning was made by Transport Minister Dipuo Peters at a two-day national Road Safety Summit in Boksburg on Friday.

“One of the instruments that we are going to use is to make sure that people lose their licence to drive because they are licensed to drive, but not to kill.

“We are saying if you are reckless, you are not going to be allowed by government and the people of South Africa to drive, because you are going to contribute to the increase of road carnage.

“In your own interest, we are protecting you against yourself. If you are reckless and dangerous on our roads, we will take that licence (from you) because you would have just proven to us that you cannot be trusted with that … card. Other countries have done it and we believe it is doable. If you don’t adhere to the licence conditions, why still keep the licence?” she said.

Peters said government will join hands with the private sector and civil society to prevent fatal crashes.

Road carnage

Peters called the summit -- themed ‘Together, championing road safety 365 days’ -- to address the carnage on South Africa’s roads.

She urged road users and stakeholders to play their part to reduce road crashes and deaths; change road user behaviour; ensure voluntary compliance with road traffic rules and make road safety part of everyday life in the country.

On 15 March this year, 23 people died in a bus crash on the Hex River Pass near De Doorns in the Western Cape.

Two of the deceased were children. About 80 congregants of the Twelve Apostles Church were on board when the crash happened.

Seven maidens, two of their minders and a bus driver were killed in a crash in September on their way home from the annual reed dance.

The accident happened on the section of the R66 highway near Melmoth, KwaZulu-Natal, where the bus overturned.

Four days later, the nation witnessed another horrific crash that claimed the lives of 24 people in Pinetown, after a truck rammed into four minibus taxis and two cars at the M13 and Richmond Road intersection.

The minister said the effects of road crashes were devastating, as they impacted negatively on the livelihoods of families and the socioeconomic fabric of the country. 

AARTO

The summit also discussed the implementation of the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (AARTO). A number of innovations were included in the draft AARTO Amendment Bill, which was published for comment in the government gazette. These include:

  • Establishment of an appeal tribunal;
  • Administration of rehabilitation programmes, including the provision of community service at government mortuaries and hospital trauma wards for victims of road crashes; and
  • The service of documents by electronic means, in addition to the traditional methods of service by registered mail and in person.

Peters said the implementation of AARTO and the Points Demerit System was but one of the mechanisms geared at increasing and sustaining road safety in the country. 

“They are not stand-alone programmes but part of a suite of proactive strategies for the improvement of road safety as a 365-day programme,” she said.

Transport Month

October was declared Transport Month in 2005 during the Transport Lekgotla. This year’s Transport Month theme is ‘Celebrating 20 years of delivering efficient, reliable and safe transport services’.

During Transport Month, government will highlight the successes of all stakeholders in creating safe transport modes.

Transport Month is commemorated with the knowledge that South Africa’s road death toll remains at an unacceptably high level.

The statistics around pedestrians are especially concerning, given that pedestrian deaths topped the 2013 Easter statistics.

The casualties occur in spite of government’s continued call for responsible driving behaviour, such as maintaining the applicable speed limit; not drinking and driving, and being aware and sensitive to other road users and pedestrians. - SAnews.gov.za

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