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NEW measures to toughen up getting a driver’s licence have been welcomed by driving school owners and instructors as “a good thing”.
As part of the act, after passing a driver’s test a new driver would first receive a provisional licence for 12 months. In this time, should road rules be broken, the provisional licence could be suspended for two years.
The owners of driving schools will be taken to task as authorities ensure instructors are licensed and cars roadworthy.
The public has until July 6 to comment on draft regulations.
He & She school director of operations Joyce Goosen said the law would benefit driving schools. “With this law, people would have to go to a driving school to learn how to drive properly. Also, while having the provisional licence, a driver has to stick to the rules of the road.
“If you can drive correctly for a year, you would drive correctly for the rest of your life… This will directly decrease the death toll on the country’s roads,” she said.
Goosen said while she was in favour of the new act, she doubted whether authorities would be able to enforce and control it. “We have a huge problem with people driving recklessly, speeding through red robots and stop streets and drinking while driving. I don’t know if there will be enough manpower in the city to enforce the new act.”
Instructor at Instruct-U-Drive John Barnard said: “With authorities checking that ‘instructors’ are licensed and fit to be instructing, it will separate those doing this work as a serious career from those just wanting to make a quick buck. This will help put competent drivers on the road… totally in favour of it.”
Owner of the Ashley Driving Academy, Melanie Theunissen, said the 12-month probation would ensure that new drivers were “fully prepared” to be on the city’s roads.
Meanwhile traffic spokesperson Merle Lourens said the system through which licence appointments were made would be more controlled. “There would not be such a high failure rate with this act in place.