Show you care and take note of the do’s and don’ts of our South African national roads/freeways

Another way you can show your love to other road users is by making sure you keep to the rules while using the national roads/freeways.

Regulation 323 of the National Road Traffic Act stipulates what a motorist must not do on our national freeways.

Specifically, a motorist cannot use the following modes of transport:

  • Operate a vehicle pulled by an animal
  •  A pedal cycle
  •  A motor cycle with a cylinder capacity of less than 50 cubic centimeters (cm3)
  • A motor tricycle or quadrucycle
  • A vehicle with a mass not more than 230 kilograms (kg) which is specifically designed for use by a person suffering from a physical defect or disability. e.g. wheelchair. A tractor or haulage tractor
  • A motorist must not allow his or her animal to be loose on the freeway except in an area that is designated as a stopping parking area. Neither must the animal be left in a place where it could stray onto a freeway.
  • A motorist must not stop a motor vehicle on the freeway unless said stopping is done within the confines of the National Road Traffic Act. 

In addition to the above there are a myriad of other prohibitions set out in the Act, some of which will be explained shortly.

One of these is the use of your mobile telephone while you are a driver in a moving motor vehicle. The driver of the motor vehicle is strictly prohibited from driving while holding a cellular or mobile telephone with either one, both hands or any other part of their body.

The Act further recognises the need for motorists to be in touch with others telephonically and specifically created an exception where a motorist may make use of his or her cellphone when the communication device is affixed to the motor vehicle or to an appropriate form of head gear.  There have been many incidents as a result of a motorist handling their cellphones whilst driving. 

Another equally important prohibition relates to the consumption of alcohol. The National Road Traffic Act expressly prohibits a driver consuming alcohol beyond the allowed legal limit. The problem with interpreting the legal limit almost always depends on the driver itself. How fast alcohol is absorbed into the blood stream and its related effects depend on the driver’s mass, metabolism, etc. These prohibitions are heavily policed and some provinces have gone as far as to adopt a zero tolerance approach when it comes to drinking and driving. 

The National Road Traffic Act furthermore prohibits reckless, negligent and inconsiderate driving. Motorists are prohibited from driving without due regard for other motorists, they may not drive in a manner that is detrimental and hazardous to the safety of other road users. 

These are but a few prohibitions placed on motorists whilst driving on South African roads. The above have been shown to cause a high percentage of severe road traumas and loss of life. So yes, while life happens and it happens whilst driving in your motor vehicles, there are still laws that must be adhered to because you are not the only one on the road.