Summary:The news article published on Wheels24 on the 4th of September 2017 refers to the lack of rules that are applicable to the Road Traffic Act, where it does not provide adequate outlines in regards to the transportation of people and what is considered to be overloading of a vehicle.
Concerns were raised to what age group and amount of children is used to tally as a full headcount as an adult when transported. Authorities and individuals are suggesting that certain requirements be added to the legislation to reduce the number of deaths that would occur when people are being transported in vehicles and their loading compartments (boots, back of bakkies and in minivans).Point of View on Article:It appears that there are not enough guidelines to help people that are transporting fare-paying passengers, so they are not aware as to what would be considered legal or illegal. They are trying to generate revenue to make ends meet, but also place people and children at risk by not complying with the law. They are not aware that by overloading a vehicle it can cause problems when it comes to the vehicles brakes and security measures not being able to work when the time comes.
They would need to update the legislation to give a clear outline as to what would be considered a passenger and a special clause for children considered as passengers. As they are the passengers likely to die in an accident where overloading is a factor.Impact on Short Term Insurance Providers:The impact the current legislation has is that insurers are paying a lot more for claims that need be. When a vehicle is overloaded – it becomes unstable and can lose control easily. It can end up causing multiple pile-ups (3rd party damages to vehicles) and death tolls as well as damage to own property. Where claims can range up to a value far over R5 Million rand when standard passenger liability is set at that and taking into account that 3rd Party liability is also standard cover at R5 Million Rand. This not including damages to the insured client’s vehicle.
Positive impact on short-term insurance providers would be that there would be stricter rules for how many people would be allowed to be carried within a vehicle, they could then limit the indemnity required per vehicle from overloading. Which would reduce passenger liability claims as well as unnecessary 3rd party claims from vehicles losing control to overloading. The monies saved from not having to pay out the high priced claims could be put into new avenues to help expand and develop more products to benefit clients and to develop departments further.
Possible Solutions:Government would need to relook the current National Road Traffic Act and make amendments to section 231. Where they do not count a child as 1 whole passenger. They currently calculate it that any child under the age of 3 does not count as a passenger. Children from the age of 3 to 6 years old would be counted, as long as there are 2 (then they would be counted as 1 person) and so on. They need to relook the legislation that one head, counts as one person. (one person, one seat belt) This will also stop passengers being flung from vehicles due to not having a safety belt.
They would also need to add what would be classified as a suitable vehicle for transporting passengers. As there is no mention to what is considered a suitable vehicle.