Tuesday, 12 April 2022 14:41

Motorists given final extension until 5 May to renew their expired driving licence.

By Lehlohonolo Lehana.

The lifting of national state of disaster means the government can no longer offer further driving licence extensions, says transport minister Fikile Mbalula.

Addressing media ahead of the Easter weekend, Mbalula said the current regulations extend the grace period by 30 days from the date of the end of the state of disaster. This means affected motorists have until 5 May 2022 to renew their expired driving licence cards.

The May deadline replaces the previous extension to 15 April 2022.

The new deadline applies to all learner's licences, driving licence cards, temporary driving licences and professional driving permits that expired during the period that commenced from 26 March 2020 up to and including 31 August 2021.

"We continue to urge those whose driving licence cards expired between 26 March 2020 and 31 August 2021 to renew their licence. The end of the state of disaster means we can no longer issue directions that extend further the grace period," he said,

"The final opportunity is provided by the current Regulations which extends the grace period by 30 days from date of the end of the state of disaster. This means affected motorists have until 5 May 2022 to renew their expired driving licence cards."

Easter weekend traffic 

Mbalula also confirmed that traffic authorities will be ramping up operations ahead of an expected influx of traffic over the Easter holiday period.

"We are cognisant that this is going to be one of the most challenging Easter weekends as we expected increased volumes of traffic. Our analysis of monthly road fatality statistics since 2019 for the months of January and February, indicate that road deaths are on an upward trend."

"Our focus will be on the use of safety belts, the roadworthiness of vehicles, fatigue, drunk driving, pedestrian safety and dangerous driving which includes speeding, recklessness and overtaking on barrier lines."

The Automobile Association (AA) of South Africa has also warned of increased holiday traffic over the coming week.

"Given the increase in traffic on main routes during the long weekend, there is always a spike in crashes and fatalities on our roads during this time. It's important for all road users – motorists, motorcyclists, and pedestrians – to remain focussed on the road and to obey the rules for their own, and others' safety, on the road, "the AA said.

The AA offers the following tips for road users over the Easter period:

  • Ensure your car is in a good working condition and that all the parts of the vehicle are functioning as they should.
  • Tyres are a critical safety feature on vehicles (including those on trailers and caravans and including all spare tyres). Ensure all tyres are in a good condition and that they have sufficient tread for your journey. Also, ensure you have all the tools to change a flat tyre just in case you might need to. Check that all are correctly inflated (check the owner’s manual for guidance) and that your tyres are balanced and aligned.
  • Check your wiper blades (front and back) to ensure they function properly.
  • Plan your route. Know where and how often you will stop on your journey (at least every two hours or every 200kms), how many times you will need to fuel up, and if you will need overnight accommodation.
  • Roads can be congested over the holiday period with everyone trying to get to their different destinations. Leave earlier or later for your destination to avoid holiday traffic if you can.
  • It’s always easier to travel with more than one driver to alternate driving duty. If that is not possible, stop to refresh, stretch your legs, and to get some fresh air.
  • Remember the rules of the road apply even if you are on holiday. Be courteous and patient with everyone that you share the road with.
  • Make sure that your insurance and membership fees are paid up in case you need to make that emergency call.
  • If no one will be home while you go on holiday. Make sure that there is adequate security so that all your belongings are still there when you come back.

"Easter is an important time of the year for many South Africans and should be a time of joy and celebration. We must all work together to ensure this time is not marred by poor road behaviour," the AA said.