No more bakkies for the school run
Today, Thursday May 11, marks the implementation of Regulation 250 of the National Road Traffic Act (NRTA), which forbids the transport of children in the goods compartment of a vehicle for reward.
Furthermore, Regulation 250 also prohibits the transport of other persons in the goods compartment of vehicles for reward, unless they are enclosed in a canopy, and are not seated near any goods or tools. This regulation is aimed at improving the safety of passengers on the back of bakkies.
“The introduction is a step in the right direction insofar as it puts the issue of scholar transport high on the road-safety agenda. It also means that those business operators who are taking children to school in vehicles, which are either unroadworthy, or not designed for person transport (such as bakkies), will need to repair or replace their vehicles,” comments the Automobile Association of South Africa (AA).
However, the Association notes that the regulation places a burden on parents whose only means of transporting their children to school is via these operators, who may, or may not, be in a position to follow the rules.
“More reliable, accessible and safe public transport is essential, especially in rural areas where bakkie transport is more common,” the AA adds.
The Association advises all motorists to be wary of rumours making the rounds regarding other proposed amendments to the NRTA.
“There has been a lot of talk, especially on social media, about the reduction of speed limits, the curbing of trucks on public roads at specific times, and how drivers will have to undergo an entire new driving test to renew their licences. These were proposals contained in earlier documents from the Department of Transport, but none have been accepted or enacted in any way,” the AA concludes.