New regulations in force for human transport

JOHANNESBURG, Gauteng – A major regulation governing the transport of schoolchildren will come into force in South Africa on May 11 2017.

Regulation 250 of the National Road Traffic Act states that, from that date nobody will be allowed to carry children, for reward, in the goods compartment of a vehicle.

The South African Automobile Association believes the regulation should be cautiously welcomed.

FIX YOUR TRUCKS OR STOP CARRYING KIDS

“It’s a step in the right direction,” the road organisation said. “It puts schoolchildren high on the road-safety agenda. Operators taking children to school in vehicles which are not roadworthy or not designed for human transport (such as bakkies) must repair or replace such vehicles.”

Or stop carrying children.

Should the ruling succeed it will place a burden on parents who can only get their children to school by using such operators.

The AA added: “Many parents simply don’t have a choice. It’s a decision based on giving your child an education or not so reliable, accessible and safe transport is essential, especially in rural areas where bakkie transport is common.”

BAKKIE PASSENGERS SHOULD BE PROHIBITED

Regulation 250 also prohibits carrying people in the goods compartment of a vehicle, for reward, unless they are enclosed by a canopy and are not seated near cargo or tools.

This regulation is intended to improve safety and the AA said it was to be welcomed. However: “Again, part of the regulation is welcomed. While we believe carrying passengers in this way is dangerous and should be banned it is a step in the right direction.”

On other talked-about regulations, the AA explained: “There has been a lot of talk, especially on social media, about lower speed limits, time  bars on trucks, and a driving test before a driving licence is renewed.

“None of this will happen on May 11. These were merely proposals contained in earlier documents from the Department of Transport. None has been accepted.”

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