26 July 2012
Government has noted that recent media coverage on road traffic fines regarding state vehicles have indicated a lack of understanding of the National Road Traffic Act No. 93 of 1996.
The Act clearly explains the transgression of traffic laws, and that certain drivers may exceed the general speed limit.
These include as stated in Section 60 of the Act, “the driver of a fire-fighting vehicle, a rescue vehicle or an ambulance who drives such vehicle in the carrying out of his or her duties, a traffic officer who drives a vehicle in the carrying out of his or her duties or any person driving a vehicle while engaged in civil protection…”
This section applies provided that the person exempt drives the vehicle concerned with due regard to the safety of other road users. In addition, the vehicle must be fitted with a siren and the siren and/or identification lamps shall be in operation while speeding.
In response to the media reports, the Government clarifies that Ministers are driven by members of the special protection unit while these members are engaged in their duties of civil protection.
As a result, while on duty the members of the special protection unit are protected by the legislative dispensation as outlined in s.60 of the Act. Therefore, if a Minister’s vehicle gets a speeding fine whilst being driven by a person conducting his/her civil protection duties and after such a person has complied with the legislative requirements of exercising safety and using a siren, such a fine will be set aside.
Cabinet Spokesperson, Jimmy Manyi, said, “If in the conduct of their duties, it is found that a person engaged in civil protection exceeds the speed limit without due course, such action must be reported and shall be investigated.”
Enquiries: Jimmy Manyi
Cell: 082 379 3454
Issued by Government Communication and Information System (GCIS)