New rules are coming to South African roads

Posted on 2017-03-17

 

You’ve probably heard about the proposed legislative changes to our road rules, but might be a bit confused about what has been confirmed and what’s still in the pipeline. Here’s all you need to know about the new road rules that will be in effect from 11 May 2017, and the other changes that have been proposed but are not yet formalised.

What’s happening on 11 May 2017?

For most road-users, there are no major changes coming at this time. If you drive a bakkie or a heavy-load truck, the following could affect you:

1. Bakkie drivers will no longer be allowed to transport school children in exchange for remuneration. 

2. Heavy goods vehicles are being limited in terms of how fast they can travel, depending on their weight. They will also need to display a 100km/h limit sticker at all times.

What else could change in the coming months and years?

There are a few other draft regulations that have been proposed but are not yet formalised:

1. Renewing your driver’s license is a hassle, and let’s face it – most of us are grateful that it only needs to be done every five years! But the process could get a whole lot more painful; the draft regulations propose that you’ll need to do a practical re-evaluation each time you renew your license. Ouch!

2. All of our roads’ speed limits could be reduced. In urban areas, the speed limit will go from 60km/hour to 40km/hour; 100km/hour to 80km/hour in rural areas; and from 120km/hour to 100km/hour on freeways that run through residential areas.

3. Goods vehicles over a 9-tonne GVM (gross vehicle mass) could be banned from driving on public roads during peak traffic hours.

4. The K53 test could be reviewed and could see a total revamp, although we’re not sure yet what this would entail.

What’s the reasoning behind the changes?

More than 14 000 people die on South Africa’s roads every year, and during the 2016/2017 festive season alone, road deaths totalled over 1 700, which was a 5% increase on the previous festive season.

Layton Beard, a spokesperson for Arrive Alive, says that existing road regulations like the speed limit are not the problem, and the issue is more that these rules are not enforced properly.

There have been numerous studies conducted in recent years on the relationship between speed and road deaths, and the results are clear: the higher the speed, the more likely it is that a crash will occur, and the severity of the crash increases too. However, it’s important to remember that speed is not the only factor when considering road accidents; standard of driving within a specific country, infrastructure, geographical area, and other factors affect our road stats.

It’s clear that our road laws need a radical change to reduce the number of road deaths, but the question remains – are these changes the way to do it? What do you think?


The changes to SA’s road rules might be a hassle for motorists, but getting an insurance quote with Budget isn’t! With us, you can get a quote in budget for your car or motorcycle by simply leaving your details on our home page, and we’ll call you back! Or if you prefer, give us a call on 0861 00 19 17 and chat to our friendly agents about getting affordable cover.


All information obtained from: http://www.iol.co.za/motoring/industry-news/lower-speed-limits-are-not-the-answer-7678413; http://www.iol.co.za/motoring/industry-news/police-existing-rules-says-aa-of-new-laws-7557644; https://businesstech.co.za/news/motoring/151475/__trashed-14/; https://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2013/may/13/speed-limits-reduce-number-road-deaths;