Court battle over driving license renewals

Henry

The civil rights organization AfriForum will be in the Pretoria High Court on Monday and Tuesday to continue the organisation’s fight against the unreasonable driving license renewal regulations.

AfriForum will oppose the requirement that driving license cards must be renewed every five years. The organization wants this requirement reviewed and invalidated.

AfriForum will ask the court for a declaratory order that the National Road Traffic Act regulations, to the extent that they limit the renewal period for driving license cards to five years, are ultra vires, unreasonable, arbitrary and vague.

The application further requests a declaratory order that according to law motorists cannot be penalized or fined because they are not in possession of a renewed driving license card as such a fine does not exist.

“Our legal team found that there are substantial legal and practical grounds for our application to succeed. From a legal perspective, the National Road Traffic Act and regulations are too vague to be workable. The legislation does not clearly distinguish between a driving license and a driving license card,” says Jacques Broodryk, AfriForum’s spokesperson for community safety.

“Nor does it explicitly state that motorists must apply for new license cards when they expire, nor that it is a crime to drive around with a license that has expired. Moreover, it does not prescribe any fines, punishment or sanction in such a case.”

According to AfriForum, the legislation is neither clear, nor sharply delineated, nor inherently coherent enough for the general public to know with some degree of certainty what is expected of them.

“It can be argued that the legislation is ultra vires; in other words, the government cannot punish members of the public if it cannot clearly indicate which law is being broken. Any punishment in this case amounts to a violation of rights.”

Members of the public can show their support for this cause at www.licencesvervalnie.co.za.