RTMC's proposed review of driving laws a recipe for disaster, says JPSA

The RTMC has announced that it is considering having the K53 method reviewed and having novice drivers accompanied by experienced drivers for the first six months behind the wheel.

FILE: A traffic officer writes up a report. Picture: Supplied

JOHANNESBURG - Civil society organisation, the Justice Project South Africa (JPSA), has called the proposals by the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) to review driving laws a recipe for disaster and a catalyst for corruption.

The RTMC has announced that it is considering having the K53 method reviewed and having novice drivers accompanied by experienced drivers for the first six months behind the wheel.

This comes as the Department of Transport announced a 16% increase in road deaths for the first 18 days of this month.

The JPSA’s Howard Dembovsky has questioned the plans by the RTMC to have drivers retested, saying the country's testing stations already don't have capacity.

“Driving license testing centres are acknowledged by the Department of Transport and the RTMC to be rife with corruption as things stand. Can you imagine what’s going to happen when you have an influx of drivers a year who have to be retested?

However, he does agree that the K53 needs to be reviewed.

“The reviewing of the K53 has been long overdue for a long time. However, that’s not what they are talking about. What they are talking about is introducing a probation driving license.”

Dembovsky says the retesting of drivers will be a threat to the economy because backlogs will prevent career drivers from continuing with their jobs.

LISTEN: RTMC mulls rewriting road rules to curb road accidents

The RTMC says it will be approaching the Transport Department with its proposal on a number of changes to be made to the country's driving laws.

Spokesperson Simon Zwane says the measures are all in a bid to drop the number of fatalities on the roads.

“We are doing this out of concern due to the high number of people dying on our roads.”

(Edited by Thapelo Lekabe)