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TRANSPORT PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
8 February 2000
ROAD ACCIDENT FUND BOARD SELECTION; ARRIVE ALIVE CAMPAIGN
The 20 short-listed candidates up for selection for the Road Accident Fund Board will be interviewed on 1 and 2 March in Cape Town. Both houses of parliament will handle the legislation on the revamp of the taxis. The chairperson proposed that since taxi owners and drivers should hold fresh elections so that the true leadership of the taxi industry is established.
In a presentation on the Arrive Alive campaign, it was noted that:
- in an effort to curb driver licence and roadworthy certificate corruption, testing will be bound geographically.
- testing centres where corruption is detected will be closed down.
- a limit on driving hours especially for buses and trucks will be introduced.
- thorough medical tests will be introduced for drivers.
- more roadblocks and increased speed law enforcement will be undertaken. - members of the general public will be enlisted to report traffic offences which are to be followed up with personal letters to offenders. Commuters would be provided with easy access to complaint desks at which they can report offending operators and drivers.
Road Accident Fund (RAF) Board Selection
Mr J Cronin (Chairperson, ANC) read out the names of the selection committee for the Road Accident Fund Board which includes himself, his NCOP counterpart and the acting Director General in the Department of Transport aothers. The interviews of the 20 short-listed candidates will take place in Cape Town on 1 and 2 March 2000.
The Chairperson apologised for the unavailability of a draft committee programme. Both houses of parliament would handle the legislation on the revamp of the taxis. He proposed that since taxi owners and drivers need to be properly represented, fresh elections of their representative body should be held so that the leadership of the taxi industry is tested. Mr J Slabbert (IFP) concurred and said it needs to be established whether the South African National Taxi Council (SATACO) is the only organisation representing the taxi industry.
Mr Botha from the Department of Transport made a presentation on the Arrive Alive campaign. The Department announced that the campaign has reduced fatalities by 5%. Above all the campaign's achievement has been the raising of the level of awareness as most South Africans know the Arrive Alive campaign and what it is about. Further plans are:
In an effort to curb driver licence corruption, the Department announced that driver licence testing will be geographically bound. This means a person residing in another province should not be allowed to obtain a licence in another province. This will also apply to roadworthy testing. Testing centres and stations, at which fraudulent operations are detected, would face closure.
The Department announced that a limit on driving hours especially for buses and trucks needs to be introduced. Thorough medical tests have to be introduced for drivers because some of the tests done at the moment are fraudulent. Compulsory advanced training for professional drivers and compulsory testing of driving school instructors was also announced.
The Department wishes to introduce the compulsory fitting of speed-limiting devices in trucks, buses and minibuses. This matter is however still being investigated. Moreover the possibility of fitting vehicle stabilising devices to minimise the danger of tyre blowouts is being investigated. Vehicle rolling protection would be improved and the fitting of seatbelts for all passengers in buses and minibuses is envisaged. The Department also wishes to introduce 100-km/h speed limit for light delivery vehicles (LDVs).
Traffic Law Enforcement
The Department proposed deployment of the traffic management system TRAFMAN. Funds will be increased for law-enforcement and vacant posts have to be filled. The appointment of additional staff to do routine administrative tasks and free qualified officers for law enforcement work was proposed. More roadblocks and increased speed law enforcement would be undertaken.
Public and Community participation
Members of the general public would be enlisted to report traffic offences which are to be followed up with personal letters to offenders. Commuters would be provided with easy access to complaint desks at which they can report offending operators and drivers.
Mr J Slabbert (IFP) pointed out that the presentation reflects the sentiments of the public which have been voiced for many years. He complained that what people want is delivery. He called on the Government to implement the laws it makes.
Mr K Meshoe (ACDP) complained that if testing centres where corruption is detected were closed, this would inconvenience the people of the area. He suggested that only the corrupt elements must be dealt with. Further, he asked whether the proposed through medical tests would mean that a person found with the HIV/AIDS virus would be seen as unfit to drive and whether this in essence is not discrimination.
The Department responded that they would be engaging their legal experts to determine whether any planned medical tests will be regarded as discrimination.
A committee member complained that the only problem is that existing laws are never implemented. He quoted an example of truck drivers who still travel at a speed far above their legal limit of 80 kilometers per hour.
Mr J Cronin (Chairperson, ANC) said that he too is unhappy about the contemplated closure of testing centres that are viewed as corrupt. He was concerned about the inconvenience, job losses and the like that may occur should such steps be taken.
The meeting was adjourned.
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