Po­lice ex­ist­ing rules, says AA of new laws

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - KHAYA KOKO @khayakoko88

QUES­TIONS are be­ing asked by AA South Africa about the na­tional Depart­ment of Trans­port’s readi­ness to en­force the pro­posed reg­u­la­tions re­lat­ing to the re­cently an­nounced re­duc­tion of speed lim­its on roads.

This comes af­ter the DoT ear­lier this month in­tro­duced for pub­lic com­ment new reg­u­la­tions that seek to re­duce the speed limit in res­i­den­tial ar­eas from 60km/h to 40km/h; from 100km/h to 80km/h out­side ur­ban ar­eas; and from 120km/h to 100km/h on free­ways that pass through res­i­den­tial ar­eas.

Trans­port Min­is­ter Dipuo Peters said in a state­ment that these pro­posed reg­u­la­tions aim “to make our roads safer”.

She also an­nounced ear­lier this month that road fa­tal­i­ties stood at 1 714 dur­ing the re­cent fes­tive sea­son, an in­crease of 5% from the pre­vi­ous re­port­ing pe­riod.

But AA South Africa spokesper­son Lay­ton Beard said they would like to see amend­ments that bal­ance the in­ter­ests of road safety with pro­tect­ing the eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity which hap­pens on the road, adding they felt the cur­rent speed lim­its were suf­fi­cient for pro­mot­ing both road safety and eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity.

Ac­cord­ing to Beard, the prob­lem lay in what he re­ferred to as the in­ef­fi­ciency of law en­force­ment agen­cies to ad­e­quately en­force the ex­ist­ing laws re­lat­ing to speed lim­its.

“We need to en­force the ex­ist­ing laws bet­ter. So, where you have a sit­u­a­tion where the ex­ist­ing speed limit is 100km/h and peo­ple are go­ing at 110km/h, that needs to be en­forced a lot bet­ter than it is en­forced at the mo­ment,” he said.

“You can have ev­ery road in South Africa and say that you can only travel at 60km/h on it, but we know that even if that would hap­pen, peo­ple will still go at 80km/h, 100km/h and 120km/h. Peo­ple won’t nec­es­sar­ily heed what the speed limit is, and the rea­son for that is that there isn’t ef­fec­tive polic­ing of ex­ist­ing speed laws.”

An­other reg­u­la­tion, which will come into ef­fect in May this year, re­lates to the to­tal ban on trans­port­ing school­child­ren in the goods com­part­ment of a bakkie, as well as curb­ing the num­ber of peo­ple who are trans­ported at the back of a goods ve­hi­cle to five – pro­vided they are em­ploy­ees trav­el­ling to work, ac­cord­ing to the DoT.

Peters said the “trans­porta­tion of learn­ers to their re­spec­tive schools has al­ways been a key chal­lenge con­fronting the gov­ern­ment. The de­vel­op­ment of this learner trans­port pol­icy aims to ad­dress the chal­lenges of ac­ces­si­bil­ity and the safety of learn­ers.”

Beard said AA South Africa wel­comed the new reg­u­la­tion re­lat­ing to the ban on bakkie trans­porta­tion for school­child­ren, as well as the lim­its on worker trans­porta­tion, say­ing it would go a long way to deal­ing with the deaths re­sult­ing from bakkie trans­porta­tion.

“I think, for us, one of the big is­sues which will arise when this reg­u­la­tion is en­acted is: What al­ter­na­tives are there for those peo­ple who rely on this form of trans­port to get to and from school?” Beard asked.

“We aren’t dis­miss­ing the new reg­u­la­tion. But have we thought about what is go­ing to hap­pen to those fam­i­lies and work­ers who rely on bakkies to get to and from work?”

What al­ter­na­tives are there for peo­ple who rely on this form of trans­port?

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.