Robin Carlisle

Staff Writer

his extreme plan to pull fatigued drivers off the road and force them to rest is legal, says Transport and Public Works MEC Robin Carlisle.

This after he initially told the Cape Times on Sunday that he was not sure whether the measure was legal or illegal – and did not care whether it was.

Yesterday Carlisle said: “I regret that I was earlier correctly reported to have said that I was not certain what the law was, but would so act whatever it said.

“I feel very passionate about road safety, and deeply concerned about the current carnage. However, I always operate within the law, and I apologise for my comments.”

He said according to a section of the National Road Traffic Act, a traffic officer could temporarily forbid a person to drive or be in charge of a vehicle if the person appeared “by reason of his or her physical or mental condition, howsoever arising, to be incapable for the time being of driving or being in charge of that vehicle”.

According to the section of the traffic act, a traffic officer could make arrangements “for the safe disposal or placing of the vehicle”.

Carlisle said drivers, who in the opinion of a traffic officer were fatigued, would be asked to park in a safe area and their vehicle keys would be removed for four hours. Afterwards the keys would be returned.

“This will not be necessary if there is another licensed – and not fatigued – driver in the vehicle to take over. I trust that all road users will understand that we cannot permit a fatigued driver to continue to operate a vehicle, knowing that fatigue may lead, as it has done several times in recent days, to very serious crashes,” Carlisle said.

He said in the first nine days of this month, 59 people had been killed on the province’s roads.