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Errant drivers, bus operators face stiff penalties

by Staff reporter
10 Jan 2024 at 05:32hrs | Views
Drivers and operators who violate traffic rules and regulations face having their licences suspended or cancelled with all road traffic law enforcement agencies are on high alert to enforce traffic laws and ensure that non-compliant drivers and vehicles do not ply the country's roads.

In a statement yesterday, Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Felix Mhona said he was concerned about a video circulating on social media, which captured a near accident involving a cross-border bus belonging to Mzansi Express and a haulage truck carrying flammable gases .

"This video clearly shows traffic law violations and actions that breach Sections 51, 52 and 53 of the Road Traffic Act which prohibit driving without due care and attention or reasonable consideration for others, negligent or dangerous driving and reckless driving.

"It is also saddening to note that during the period 15-26 December 2023 alone, 87 people died and 424 were injured because of road traffic accidents," he said.

Minister Mhona said the nation could not afford to continue experiencing these incessant road fatalities caused by recklessness and negligence by drivers of public service vehicle

"Informed by the foregoing violations and verified videographic evidence, the Ministry will ensure that the driver of the cross-border bus is prosecuted. I have directed that the provisions of the law be implemented dutifully, consistently, and religiously with the view to tame this negligence and recklessness.

"My Ministry promulgated Statutory Instrument 118 of 2023 which made it mandatory for operators of public service vehicles to install speed limiting and monitoring devices.

"This will go a long way in regulating over-speeding by public service vehicle drivers and protect commuters and other road users in line with targets contained in the National Development Strategy 1 (2021-2025) which seeks to reduce road accidents and fatalities by a 25 percent margin per annum.

"Pursuant to this, I wish to reiterate and warn all transport operators, associations, motorists, and members of the public that the Ministry will take stern measures provided by our laws against those who wantonly and blatantly violate road traffic rules and regulations. The safety and security of all road users cannot be taken for granted. We will not hesitate to suspend and cancel licenses of drivers and operators who violate traffic rules and regulations," Minister Mhona said.

He urged all road traffic law enforcement agencies to be on high alert to enforce the road traffic laws and ensure that non-compliant drivers and vehicles do not ply the roads.

Magistrates trying those charged with a wide range of traffic offences have the power to cancel driving licences, sometimes even for life, and can set a time limit before a driver with a cancelled licence is allowed to go through the provisional and road tests to get a new licence. Service licences can be suspended or cancelled in certain circumstances, although since this can be challenged in court the authorities make sure that they have good grounds for doing so.

Source - The Herald