The Retail Motor Industry Organisation (RMI) notes with concern the state of non-roadworthy and unlicensed heavy vehicles in operation on South Africa’s roads, highlighted by a recent report of four trucks and trailers being impounded in Mpumalanga.
The vehicles were taken off the road following an inspection by traffic authorities who found the rigs to be non-roadworthy and operating with fraudulent documentation, including invalid licenses.
The RMI’s concern is further exacerbated by the fact that RTMC data shows that there have been 131 major crashes involving trucks in which 791 people have been killed and 726 injured between January, 2013 and May, 2016. The fatal crashes have taken place in KZN, Gauteng, the Free State, Mpumalanga and the Eastern Cape.
Commenting on the issue, RTMC spokesperson Simon Zwane says vehicle-related factors have been identified as the second most common contributing factor to the accidents, with human error or behaviour the lead cause.
The RMI applauds the action of traffic authorities in Mpumalanga, where strong measures are being taken against the illegal operation of heavy vehicles. The Organisation appeals to transport operators to ensure that they maintain their vehicles in a safe and roadworthy condition; that they submit their vehicles for statutory roadworthy tests at any RMI Vehicle Testing Association member test station; and that they ensure that annual vehicle licenses are renewed.
The RMI also reminds motorists that while periodic roadworthy testing of private passenger vehicles is not yet mandatory in South Africa, it remains imperative that current regulations are respected by all road users.