During the past 30 days more than 900 people have passed away in road accidents in South Africa. Trac N4, who is the toll concessionaire managing the N4, has urged motorists to pay closer attention to tyre safety as it appears that many road accidents have been caused by tyre failure. During a road safety campaign on the N4 the toll concessionaire partnered with Tiger Wheel and Tyre to perform tyre checks and found that many vehicles were under-inflated.
Earlier this month concern has been raised by a member of the public on the enforcement pertaining to tyre safety – and specifically the penalties for driving with smooth tyres. We would like to share the email:
“I may be misinformed or be stupid, but looking at the Aarto fines and penalties, it would appear that someone in the design of this system thinks that a single blow light is more dangerous on the road than driving on smooth tyres as there are no penalties for smooth tyres.
To my knowledge there are more people killed by vehicles (taxi’s especially) than any other cause.
Smooth tyres in my opinion should carry at least a penalty of 5 points.”
We referred this to our expert from Justice Project South Africa and received a response:
“You are far from stupid, and I would agree with you that worn, treadles tyres are indeed very dangerous, as are a number of other roadworthiness-related and moving violation infringements under AARTO or indeed, the National Road Traffic Act and Regulations which it administers; not only with respect to the taxis that everyone loves to refer to and hate, but with respect to all vehicles and drivers.
The National Road Traffic Regulations – Regulation 212(j)(i) – requires that a tread depth of no less than 1mm across a pneumatic tyre’s breadth and around its entire circumference is required and if you look for charge code 2844 in the AARTO charge book you will see that a penalty amount of R250 is stipulated for this infringement.
This infringement carries the second lowest fine possible and similarly does not carry any demerit-points with it, which is quite alarming if one thinks about it. In effect this means that a vehicle could have four bald tyres on it and incur a fine of R1000 with no demerit-points if the traffic officer concerned were not to use his/her discretion and declare that vehicle unroadworthy. There is also nothing to say that a traffic officer must declare such a vehicle unroadworthy and therefore discretion would be relied on.”
Tyre Safety must require closer attention from road safety and traffic enforcement authorities!
We would like to urge all vehicle owners to pay attention to tyre safety – not only to avoid penalties – but also to protect the lives of road users across South Africa!!