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Sunday / 26 June 2022
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Major changes coming for South African drivers

South Africa’s Department of Transport is working on several major changes to road rules and related initiatives to improve the country’s “driving experience”.

This is according to a report from BusinessTech, which quoted statements from Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula.

Mbalula was speaking at his department’s recent budget presentation, and outlined four big changes which they aimed to roll out across the country.

Licence centres

The first change will be to increase operating hours at licence testing centres, following a large number of complaints from members of the public about current operations.

“The end-game of our interventions is improved service delivery and enhanced efficiency in the functioning of [the testing centres], free of corruption,” said Mbalula.

Along with the extended hours, the department aims to improve its use of technology to eliminate queues – and introduce an “online interface” for optometrists to upload eye tests results.

Aarto

The biggest change set to take place in the coming months is the official rollout of the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (Aarto) system.

This system will see local drivers have a points total allocated to their driver’s licence.

Points will then be added to a driver’s total for breaking the law and traffic infringements. If their points total is reached within a certain period, they will be barred from driving.

Multiple suspensions can then lead to a driver’s licence being cancelled completely.

“We are on track with our target to proclaim 1 July 2021 as the effective date for the nationwide rollout of Aarto,” said the minister.

More traffic police

Mbalula has stated they aim to increase the presence of traffic police on local roads – changing it from a “regular job” to one that is done 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“We have made significant progress in this regard and have finalised all consultations with provinces, law enforcement authorities, as well as organised labour,” said Mbalula.

Body cameras

Continuing on the topic of law enforcement, Mbalula said his department plans to introduce the wearing of body cameras by traffic police in South Africa.

“The use of this technology will go a long way in gathering evidence on the interaction between the officers and motorists,” said the minister.

“This will undoubtedly improve the conviction rate of motorists who break the law, and deal a death knell to corruption.”

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