By Justus de Goede MPL, DA Gauteng spokesperson on transport:
Testing and licensing centres across Gauteng, already backlogged due to poor service delivery, will come to a complete standstill should proposed legislation be passed requiring the re-testing of existing license holders.
The proposed amendments to the Road Traffic Act, referred to as Section 170D, will require licensed drivers to undergo “observation, enquiry and a practical test” upon the renewal of their existing driver’s license.
Centres across the province already have huge backlogs in license testing which will be further aggravated if the Section 170D proposal is approved.
The existing first-time licencing system is riddled with corruption and inefficiency, and this new provision will only worsen current problems.
Many of Gauteng’s residents commute in private vehicles because there is insufficient, reliable public transport to provide viable alternative means of travel.
The new proposed regulations will have little to no impact on driver patterns or behaviour.
If government is serious about making our roads safer, it needs to invest more on quality public transport and make concerted efforts to improve traffic law enforcement.
Increased and cumbersome bureaucracy will only exacerbate the dire situation, not fix it.