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Drivers could have to retake tests before renewing licences

By Staff Writer
On Monday the Department of Transport released draft regulation that aims to improve road safety by implementing an array of changes to the current Road Safety Act to improve road safety.
 
One of the proposed changes is that drivers will have to retake a practical test when they renew their driver’s licence. The proposed regulations state: “An applicant for the renewal of a driving licence card shall, before obtaining a new driving licence card, be evaluated by an examiner for driving licences.” It is unclear at this stage how much this type of renewal will cost motorists.
 
However, the regulation stipulates that applicants will “not be required to undergo a written test.”
 
Further amendments to the regulations include reducing speed limits, and the number of people that can be transported in the goods compartment of a goods vehicle.
 
Reducing speed limits
 
The draft regulation proposes reducing the speed limit in an urban area to 40 kilometres per hour, while public roads that are outside of urban areas, but are not freeways, will have a speed limit of 80 kilometres an hour.
 
The regulations also state: “120 kilometres per hour shall apply in respect of every freeway: Provided that a speed limit of 100 kilometres per hour shall apply in cases wherein such freeway passes through a residential area.”
 
Transporting people
 
There will also be restrictions on the transportation of people in goods vehicles. These include limiting the number of people being transported in the goods compartment of a goods vehicle to five where the gross vehicle mass is less than 3 500 kilograms.
 
You will also not be able to transport people “unless that portion of the vehicle in which such persons are being conveyed in enclosed to a height of – at least 350 millimetres above the surface upon which such person is seated; or at least 900 millimetres above the surface on which such person is standing, in a manner and with a material of sufficient strength to prevent such person from falling from such vehicle when it is in motion.”
 
In addition, you will not be able to transport school children or any person for cash or reward (unless you have an exemption according to the National Land Transport Act (NLTA)), in the goods compartment of a vehicle.
 
Peak hour traffic
 
Another proposition made in the draft regulation is that any vehicles with a gross mass that exceeds 9 000 kilograms will not be allowed to drive on public roads in urban areas from Monday to Friday between 06h00 and 09h00 in the morning, and 17h00 and 20h00 in the evenings, with the exception of public holidays.
 
However, this will not apply to emergency response vehicles in the event of an emergency or disaster.
 
These draft regulations have been released by the Department of Transport for public comment. Comment must be submitted by 11 June 2015 to John Motsatsing from the Department of Transport at (021) 309 3574 or motsatsj@dot.gov.za, or Philip Magagane, also from the Department of Transport, at (021) 309 3684 or magaganp@dot.gov.za.
 
*The Department of Transport was contacted for comment, but had not responded at the time of publication, 14 May 2015. 

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