AA calms ‘Facebook frenzy’ over proposed speed limits and truck bans
There is a difference between ‘law’ and ‘proposal’ which means, for now, that speed limits haven’t changed and trucks cannot be pulled off the road during certain hours.
So said the Automobile Association (AA) in an online press statement responding to what it calls a “Facebook frenzy” where transporters and motorists are repeating rumours about new traffic laws without having the facts at hand over speed limits and heavy vehicle operating hours.
“It’s evident in all these cases that they have misunderstood the difference between ‘law’ and ‘proposal’,” said an AA spokesperson.
He pointed out that the Minister of Transport, Dipuo Peters, was entitled to make new regulations to the National Road Traffic Act (NRTA), or change or repeal old ones. This process starts with the Department of Transport (DoT) issuing a proposed amendment for comment, which is published in the Government Gazette. A comment period follows during which the public can give its input on the proposal.
“Once the comment period closes, the DoT will then consider the comments received from the public and then decide how to proceed. The law-making process is quite flexible, and just because something is proposed in the Government Gazette doesn’t mean it will necessarily become law,” said the spokesperson.
In 2015, a proposal was published to reduce speed limits substantially. The same document proposed banning heavy vehicles from the roads between certain hours.
“In the case of the speed and operating hours provisions, neither has been enacted as law and the status quo remains unchanged. In our opinion, both proposals are without merit, and we made submissions to the Department to that effect,” said the AA spokesperson.