Watch your weight!
Speaking at a transportation workshop last week – held on behalf of the Aggregate and Sand Producers Association of Southern Africa (Aspasa) and the Southern Africa Readymix Association (Sarma) – road traffic legislation expert Alta Swanepoel reminded transporters to be aware of changes in legislation regarding overloading.
“The legislation arises from parliament instructing the Department of Transport (DoT) to stop overloading where it starts. Faced with bills amounting to billions of rand annually to repair damage to roads, parliament said the current overloading legislation needs to be changed.
“As a result, the DoT has created a national overload control policy. As part of this, the minister of transport has begun enforcing the existing National Road Traffic Amendment Act,” explained Swanepoel.
In terms of the legislation, authorities may prosecute both consignees and consignors of freight if they are found to receive and accept overloaded vehicles. The onus will be placed on both parties to produce and keep records of every truck load undertaken for a period of at least five years. Drivers should have the required load documentation with them at all times.
“In terms of the National Road Traffic Amendment Act, 64 of 2008, the transportation of freight such as sand, stone and concrete will need to be very carefully managed, as all loads measured across the entire vehicle, or per axle, will need to comply with the vehicle’s specifications as well as legal limits.
“Extra precautions will also need to be taken to prevent loads from shifting, as this may cause any one axle to carry excessive weight, which will then deem the entire vehicle to be overloaded,” said Swanepoel.
Failure to comply with the legislation carries a maximum penalty of a fine of up to R240 000, or a six-year prison sentence, or both.