Motorists warned: Service your cars before you travel this festive season

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Picture: AFP

The Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) has, ahead of the festive season, called upon motorists to make sure that their vehicles are roadworthy if they are travelling long distances.

In a statement on Tuesday, the RTMC noted that vehicles deemed not roadworthy was one of the major contributors to fatal road crashes in South Africa.

Tyre bursts, defective brakes, worn tyres and dysfunctional lights are some of the factors that have been identified as the leading causes of fatal crashes, according to the RTMC.

“7% of road crashes during the festive season last year were attributed to unroadworthy vehicles. This was an increase on the previous year’s statistics.”

The RTMC revealed that at the start of 2019, a total of 1,170,166 vehicles were recorded as unroadworthy in comparison to the 1,064,623 vehicles recorded in 2017.

“Motorists, who intend travelling over the festive season, are advised to book in their vehicles for service and repairs ahead of undertaking their trips.

“A reduction in unroadworthy vehicles can assist in reducing the number of avoidable crashes and take the country a step closer to achieving the global goal of reducing road fatalities by 50% by the year 2030.”

Meanwhile earlier this month, the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) said it had been flooded with complaints after motorists claimed their efforts to renew their licences were blocked because of traffic fines they had no knowledge of.

Outa’s chief legal officer, advocate Stefanie Fick, said the organisation believed in some instances the Road Traffic Infringement Agency (RTIA) did not issue enforcement orders against the motorists.

While motorists with unpaid fines were not allowed to renew their vehicle or driver’s licences, Ficks said the reasons for the outstanding enforcement orders were not completely clear.

Ficks further said the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (Aarto) could not cope with the administrative processes of enforcement orders at this stage.

“Outa asks how will they be able to cope with the amendment act to be rolled out nationwide, by July 2021 when the demerit system will add even more problems to the mix,” she said.

Outa has also called on Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula to consider changing the driver’s licence renewal process from five to 10 years, arguing that changing the renewal process would save consumers and government time and money.

The Citizen