Efforts are under way to ensure that the country has a 0% alcohol limit law by the end of this year.
Johannesburg – Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula has again reiterated that efforts were under way to ensure that the country had a 0% alcohol limit law by the end of this year.
Mbalula reiterated comments he has made for the past year on Friday, during a briefing about the latest festive season road statistics.
The minister also said traffic officers would be required to wear body cameras – this was part of an effort to curb corruption.
Another added feature would be an upgrade to drivers licences, which will come with new security features. This upgrade would happen later this year, Mbalula said.
Talks of amendments to the National Road Traffic Amendment Bill began in 2019. Cabinet approved the amendments in March 2020. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, delays were encountered. The draft bill was published in June for public comment.
It was envisioned that it would be passed through Parliament by December, but that has yet to happen. Mbalula now has hopes that the law will come into effect this year.
The law will see a 0% alcohol limit required to operate a motor vehicle. Currently, the law determines that a person’s alcohol consumption level should be at around 0.05g per 100ml of blood, to 0.024g when measured on a breathalyser.
Added to the tougher measures will be changes to the adjudication of road traffic offences (Aarto) – which comes into effect this year.
This will see drivers face a demerit system and the possibility of losing their licences for serious offences.
The changes to Aarto have also sparked concerns, which may see motorists being fined for not paying e-tolls.
The DA and the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) had spoken critically against the amendments to Aarto when the issue was raised last year.
DA MPL Fred Nel highlighted a more urgent need for the e-tolls matter to be resolved, as amended regulations governing the administrative adjudication of road traffic offences (Aarto) would soon come into effect next year.
“The urgency of the finality has become more urgent because of the potential implementation of the Aarto regulations after December. This would see motorists being fined for ignoring an e-toll fine. This could have a huge bearing on their ability to renew a license. We need finality on the matter before the Aarto regulations come into effect.
“Aarto should not be used to force people to pay e-tolls. The two matters should be dealt with separately,” Nel said.