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Motorists may soon have to present proof of residence to authorities to validate their driving licences if one of a series of proposed amendments to the National Road Traffic Law comes into effect.
In the main, the suggested regulations, published in the Government Gazette this month, have the approval of the AA.
In a process similar to Rica (the Regulation of Interception of Communications and Provision of Communication-Related Information Act) for cellphones, the addresses, names and identity numbers of drivers would have to be verified within 12 months of the amended legislation being published, and changes of address would have to be reported within 21 days.
Rica was recently criticised as a futile tool, as SIM cards were easily bought without the registration documents.
The amendments suggested that vehicles, excluding vintage models, older than 10 years be subjected to a roadworthiness inspection every two years, and that, should a vehicle be written off, reusing its parts to build or repair another would be illegal.
In addition, new motorists would be issued with temporary licences valid for one year and, during this probationary period, the driver would have to complete a logbook.
This provisional licence could be suspended for two years should certain offences be committed.
The N3 in KwaZulu-Natal is known for accidents involving trucks, and the amendments seek to address this.
The number of hours spent behind the wheel would not be allowed to exceed five, with a maximum of 15 hours a day, and prescribed resting periods in-between.
Other notable proposals were the banning of anti-theft devices linked to a vehicle’s brakes, and more tightly regulated driving schools.
According to the AA’s Gary Ronald, the verification process should apply only to motorists who have moved.
Ronald was pleased that the probation period for new motorists was a year rather than the anticipated three years.
He said that, if passed into law, this would be the first time that working hours for truck and bus drivers would be legislated. - The Mercury