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Friday / 27 May 2022
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Lower speed limits considered for South Africa

The Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) has said that new speed limits are part of the interventions it wants to implement in an effort to reduce the number of fatalities on South Africa’s roads, as reported by BusinessTech.

In a parliamentary presentation on 15 February, the RTMC said a programme is already underway to reduce the speed limits in urban areas, especially around schools and areas with frequent cyclists.

The headline speed limit changes the RTMC wants to implement includes:

  • Urban roads – From 60km/h to 50km/h
  • Major roads – From 120km/h to 110km/h 

According to RTMC chief communications officer Simon Zwane, these changes follow recommendations by the United Nations (UN) that said countries with high road fatalities should consider reducing speed limits by 10km/h.

The UN has also called on governments worldwide to reduce speed limits to 30km/h in populated areas “where people walk, live, and play.”

As a member of the UN’s road council, Zwane said the South African government is actively promoting lower speed limits. However, the relevant authorities have not yet begun the process of changing the actual regulations, he said.

The local government has previously also considered reducing the country’s speed limits, which would have seen top speeds across the board reduced by 20km/h.

Additional measures

Alongside lower speed limits, the RTMC wants to introduce a number of additional road regulations that have the potential to curb road fatalities.

To reduce drunk driving occurrences, the RTMC aims to raise awareness around the issue in partnership with aware.org, educate drivers on the consequences of drunk driving, and enforce the current blood-alcohol limits on the road more strictly.

To ensure seatbelt and restraint compliance, the RTMC aims to raise awareness through social media messaging and “collaborative efforts” with law enforcement.

To enhance pedestrian safety, the RTMC aims to educate the public on the matter through billboard messaging, “activations” at hazardous locations, and social media messaging.

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