The Department of Transport has announced plans to introduce tough regulations to reduce overloading and driver fatigue after the recent spate of road accidents.

The Department of Transport has announced plans to introduce tough regulations to reduce overloading and driver fatigue after the recent spate of road accidents.

Ndivhuwo Mabaya, transport spokesperson said the government was negotiating with the Road Freight Association on proposals to make it mandatory for long-distance vehicles to have two drivers and to introduce harsh punishment for overloaded trucks.

stated that the fines would be based on the value of the goods being transported and repeat offenders would be denied vehicle permits and be blacklisted.

Mabaya said government wanted to make the installation of black boxes compulsory on all trucks to record the truck’s driving history. Also, most long distance carriers had on-board computers to monitor how long a driver had been on the road and government wanted access to this information with the view to eventually having a central database to monitor driver behaviour.

The SA Transport and Allied Workers’ Union (Satawu) has raised concerns about the safety and working conditions of long-distance drivers.

Jane Barrett, Satawu’s policy research officer, said that low pay, excessive overtime and extra shifts contributed heavily towards the dangerous levels of fatigue experienced by drivers.

On average, drivers’ wages were very low and they had to rely on overtime and incentive schemes to earn more money. Payment was also largely dependant on trips completed and kilometres covered, which led to high-speed driving and fatigue.

Original article from Car