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Programme to enhance skills of learner drivers

Jan 18, 2017
Programme to enhance skills of learner drivers

The Road Traffic Infringement Agency (RTIA) is to implement a programme which will ensure learner drivers are given the opportunity to develop and enhance their skills to become good and safe drivers. 

According to Transport Minister Dipuo Peters, the provision of a driving simulators programme will be implemented during the 2017/18 financial year.

“Part of the long term initiative to establish and enhance road safety relates to the skilling of our drivers, particularly those who will be acquiring licenses for the first time,” Minister Peters said on Tuesday.

She visited Soshanguve East Secondary School to hand over the Torch of Peace to Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga.

The Minister said her department will be working with the Department of Basic Education to include driving lessons at high school as part of the curriculum.

“We also have the partnership with the Department of Basic Education to ensure the inclusion of road safety in the curriculum and the training of teachers. This essentially entails different aspects of road safety awareness which are intended to adequately skill new drivers,” Minister Peters said.

The Department of Transport is in the process of finalising the Graduated Driving License framework.

It recently announced the festive season road crash and fatalities statistics which indicated a 5% increase from the 2016 figures.

The total number of road crash fatalities recorded between 1 December 2016 and 9 January 2017 stands at 1714. Human factor has been the leading cause of crashes at 79.1%.

“I have no doubt that road safety education that starts at an early age should be one of the core focus areas in assisting us to turn the tide.

“Formal education and training will remain important but we must also broaden our minds and find ways to include road safety messages into the wider curriculum, into mathematics and science, geography and civic education,” Minister Peters said.

The Department of Transport is also in discussion with the Department of Health to deploy blood analysts, district surgeons, registered nurses or medical officers during law enforcement operations in order to take a specimen of an arrested driver's blood on site for immediate scientific analysis.

“The analysis will enable an expert to ascertain the presence and estimated quantity of alcohol in the person's blood at the time of the examination,” Minister Peters said.