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Photo: Gustavo Fring, Pexels

A call for compliance

Could safety on South Africa’s roads improve with the introduction of mandatory roadworthiness checks?

Here’s an alarming statistic: according to 2017 research by Verster and Fourie, as many as one million vehicles on South African roads aren’t roadworthy. 

This isn’t surprising, given that in South Africa, taxis and trucks are tested for roadworthiness on an annual basis, while buses are checked every six months – however, private vehicles are only tested for roadworthiness when there is a change in ownership. The fallout of this slack approach is evidenced by Compare The Market’s recent finding that local drivers are the most dangerous in the world and that the poor condition of their cars is a large contributing factor.

One way to correct this situation is by enacting legislation which makes it compulsory for vehicles to undergo roadworthiness checks every 10 years. This would reduce the likelihood of technical issues that may cause accidents. This is all the more important given that our current economic circumstances will undoubtedly encourage more motorists to save where possible, even if this means selecting cheap parts or services without first checking the quality.

With this in mind, RMI is calling for greater collaboration with the sector, to ensure that South Africa’s cars are safer.