COSATU will present its submission in support of the National Traffic Amendment Bill to Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Transport at 9am, Wednesday 10 March. This is a progressive and long overdue overhaul of our inadequate traffic legislation. Every year more than 14 000 people die unnecessarily on South Africa’s roads due to reckless driving. About 25% of accidents are a result of drunk driving. Others are due to unroadworthy vehicles, persons who should never have received driver’s licenses, etc.
The condition and safety of roads suffers from overloaded trucks putting drivers’ lives at risk and costing the state billions. All of these have resulted in a Road Accident Fund in deficit to nearly R300 billion; further burdening the fiscus, squeezing taxpayers and suffocating the economy. This long-delayed Bill provides critical interventions with its provisions providing for amongst others:
· A complete ban on drinking and driving.
· Regulating and providing clear standards for driving schools, testing centres and weighbridges.
· Prohibiting traffic and testing officials from having financial conflicts of interests in their areas of supervision.
· Empowering traffic officials to impound unroadworthy vehicles.
· Providing clear conditions on emergency vehicles driving.
Whilst the Bill is progressive and long overdue, it will remain a mirage unless government invests in local government where the bulk of traffic management resides. Laws cannot be enforced by a skeleton and under resourced public service. Government must put in place in mechanisms to prevent these necessary powers from being abused by any corrupt persons.
Parliament must move with speed to pass this Bill. It must not allow some in the liquor industry to bully it into removing the ban on drinking and driving. There is space for a well-regulated liquor industry. There cannot be space for the abuse of alcohol that renders thousands of families devastated each year.
For further information please contact: Matthew Parks- COSATU Parliamentary Coordinator- Cell: 082 785 0687Email: email@example.com