Minister of Transport Dipuo Peters File photo: Oupa Mokoena

Pretoria - Clamping down on unfit drivers would help reduce road deaths in South Africa, Transport Minister Dipuo Peters said on Wednesday.

“We believe that some of the people who drive freight and passenger transport on the ground need to be subjected to what the aviation sector is subjected to,” she said in Pretoria.

“For us to meet the United Nations standards of a 50 percent reduction of carnage on our roads by 2020, we need to learn from the aviation sector. Those strict rules we need to apply on the road.”

Peters was addressing a summit on aviation medicine training and research programme run by the SA Civil Aviation Authority, the Institute for Aviation Medicine and four institutions of higher education.

“Pilots undergo medical check-ups. We have many people who are driving our buses, trains and freight who are not examined frequently.”

Pilots had to adhere to stringent regulations and they had a responsibility to their passengers.

“As part of our road safety campaign, we are introducing medical checks. It should be a requirement that people who drive public transport, long distances, are fit and proper,” Peters said.

She said the drivers should undergo fitness checks every six months.

A graduation ceremony was held on Wednesday for 12 doctors who achieved BSc Honours degrees in aerospace medicine from the University of Pretoria.

They were joined by 15 other doctors who received certificates to become designated aviation examiners, in line with international civil aviation requirements.