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New driving licence laws shock

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IOL mot pic jun18 Licence Test

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Draft law would put new drivers on probation for a year before they get a full licence.

New drivers would have to complete a 'graduation year' before they get a proper licence - and if they commit certain offences in that period, they would have to go back to square one.

And if your vehicle is 10 years old or older - then budget to pay for a roadworthy test once every two years.

The battle to improve road safety has been boosted with a raft of draft National Road Traffic Act regulations, gazetted for comment last week.

While role-players such as the Automobile Association have welcomed them, Western Cape MEC for transport and public works Robin Carlisle wants some of the regulations strengthened.

Members of the public have until July 6 to comment on the draft regulations.

These include the regulation of driving schools, vehicles older than 10 years having to be roadworthy tested every two years, and a graduation system for new drivers.

After passing a driving test, a new driver would be given a 12-month provisional licence, according to the draft regulations. Within this period, driving while under the influence, notching up six traffic offences, driving between midnight and 4am, overloading and speeding would lead to the provisional licence being suspended for two years. Every 60 hours of driving would have to be logged and the vehicle driven would have to display a red P that was visible from at least 20 metres.

Driving schools and instructors would have to be registered and their vehicles licensed, registered and roadworthy. The location of the school would become a requirement for registration.

PROOF OF ADDRESS

Carlisle said while the regulations would add to road safety, he wanted an improvement to that which would compel vehicle owners registered on the transport department's eNaTiS system to provide proof of address not as a once-off requirement as they do now, when they register, but with every transaction.

Some errant drivers and vehicle owners did not bother to pay fines, while others gave false addresses and so escaped the law, Carlisle said. Enforcing provision of identity andproof of address during vehicle identity and proof of address during vehicle-related transactions would stop these practices.

Carlisle said it would lead to 'major repercussions' for offenders if they were not be able to register, license or insure a vehicle.

'It can work. While this may present challenges in terms of practical implementation, young, reckless drivers are among the biggest killers on our roads. It is important to curb them. You'll find that some will keep on driving, but for others it will be very difficult - like if a person who drives for his work.'

ROADWORTHY TESTS FOR OLDER VEHICLES

Carlisle said the accident in Rheenendal in which 14 children died when their school bus plunged into a river on August 24 had shown the importance of requiring regular roadworthy tests for older vehicles.

“It will also bring us in line with most other countries,” he said.

On the question of regulations for driving schools, he said: “We have a lot of problems with driving schools, some who charge excessive fees and some where people purport to be highly trained, but can't drive.

“The close connection between some driving schools and driving test centres should also be put under the microscope as there could be corrupt activity.”

AA spokesman Gary Ronald said: “We are absolutely in favour of the graduation to a driver's licence. We suggested it two years ago.”

The AA also supported the regular roadworthy tests, Ronald said. He said that about 13 or 14 years was the average age of cars on the country's roads.

On the regulation of driving schools, he said: “It is a difficult one. The industry has to be regulated, but not to a point where it excludes people.”

Val Oliver, owner of Val's Driving School said: “It is good idea to have tight regulations.”

National Department of Transport spokesman Tiyani Rikhotso did not respond by deadline.

There was no response to messages left for Road Traffic Management Corporation spokesman Ashref Ismail. - Cape Times

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