South Africa Speed Limit To Be Dropped by 20km/h?

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South Africa’s Minister of Transport Dipuo Peters proposed to lower the national speed limit in order to curb road deaths. The draft regulations have been published in the Government Gazette.

Speed limits are going to be reduced from 60 to 40km/h in urban areas, from 100 to 80km/h in rural areas and from 120 to 100km/h on freeways running through a residential area.

The SA national Department of Transport is hoping to reduce road deaths with new legislation that includes slower speed limits and an end to carrying children in an open bakkie.

The minister believes the spike in road accidents over the festive season might be drastically reduced with a simple lowering of the national speed limit.

The Western Cape road safety chief, Hector Elliot, supported the minister saying he knows that the idea isn’t a very popular one, but says the evidence showing that it would curb festive season road tragedies are overwhelming and cannot be ignored.

According to the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC), 14 000 people are killed in road traffic incidents every year. When compared to international road traffic fatalities, South Africa’s rate is one of the worst; SA was the worst performer out of the 36 countries in a study performed by the International Transport Forum’s Road Safety Annual Report.

The draft regulations have been published in the Government Gazette and propose these changes to legislation:

• Drivers to be re-evaluated when renewing a licence
• No more than five people to be carried in a bakkie load bed
• Children not to be transported in a bakkie load bed
• Speed limits to be reduced from 60 to 40km/h in urban areas, from 100 to 80km/h in rural areas and from 120 to 100km/h on freeways running through a residential area
• Goods vehicles above 9000kg GVM to be banned from public roads during peak travelling times.