Wide-ranging amendments to the road traffic legislation mean that numerous public transport and goods vehicles, first registered after December 1, this year, will require speed governers. The Automobile Association (AA) said that December 1 was the implementation for a regulation published in 2014.
Brian Joss – “On 31 October 2014, a considerable number of new regulation were gazetted, including an amendment to Regulation 215 of the National Road Traffic Act. As is often the case with complex regulations which require changes in manufacturing procedure, the implementation date was aimed at some time into the future,” the AA explained.
Governers will be required for any minibus, midibus or bus, as well as goods vehicles with a mass exceeding 3500kg. The vehicles are required to be governed to the speed limits applicable to each category. In the case of minibuses, midibuses, and buses, the governed speed will be 100km/h.
Goods vehicles over 3500kg, but below 9000kg, will be governed to 100km/h in terms of a recent amendment to Regulation 293 which came into force on 11 November. Such vehicles were previously permitted to travel at up to the maximum general speed limit of 120km/h.
Goods vehicles over 9000kg will be governed to their maximum permissible speed of 80km/h.
The AA said it welcomed the changes to the law for these categories of vehicles.
“Buses and minibus taxis are frequently observed driving well in excess of posted legal limits, often in situations where their speed considerably exceeds that of the general traffic speed,” the AA commented.
“The risk of such large speed differentials is well documented, and the introduction of governers will combat this problem over the next several years as end-of-life buses and minibus taxis are phased out and replaced with newer, governed models
The AA had similar comments regarding vehicles over 9000kg, which are often noted to be exceeding their maximum allowable speed.
“Apart from giving rise to safety and longevity issues in heavy vehicles, excessive speed creates additional noise which affects communities living nearby busy roads. It needlessly increases fuel consumption and pollution. These vehicles are not designed to be operated at the general speed limit of 120km/h which is applicable to light motor vehicles, which is why they were restricted to 80km/h more than two decades ago,” the AA added.
The AA noted that the inclusion of governers on heavy vehicles will free traffic authorities from having to police speed transgressions by goods and public transport vehicles so that they can direct their enforcement resources towards moving violations, licensing infringements, and driver impairment.