Govt has changed the rules on when vehicles are allowed on the road

Business Insider SA
  • The new transport regulations for lockdown Level 4 were published on Monday, and included rules about when you are allowed on the road.
  • Initially, all vehicles were allowed on the road till 21:00 to complete a journey.
  • But on Wednesday, government changed that to a much stricter curfew.
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This week, government gazetted new regulations for vehicle owners and public transport during the latest phase of the national lockdown.

The regulations, released on Monday, specified that no vehicles – either private or public transport – were allowed on the roads outside of 05:00 to 20:00, with a grace period of an hour, "to complete a journey", to 21:00.

But on Wednesday, transport minister Fikile Mbalula gazetted a change to that regulation. Now, public transport - which includes minibus taxis - can operate from 05:00 to 19:00 only, with no mention of a grace period. Instead "the driver must ensure that the drop off is completed by 19:00."

The section governing the permitted times of private vehicles on the road – a curious inclusion in regulations about public transport in the first place – has been deleted by the same amendment. This presumably means that private car owners can be on the road only till 20:00, when the national curfew starts.

Public transport will only be allowed outside of these hours if it is a chartered service for Level 4 workers, which has been arranged by an employer. The transport owners will have to present documentation to confirm this.

Under back-to-work rules some workers, including restaurant and delivery staff, are allowed to work until 19:00. 

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Here's the rest of the transport rules during Level 4:

How many people are allowed in car?

Uber and other ehailing companies, as well as shuttle and chauffeur services: Three people (including the driver) in a 5-seater vehicle, while four people are permitted in a 7-seater vehicle and six people in a ten-seater.

Mini-bus taxis: No more than 70% of their maximum licensed passenger carrying capacity. So for a minibus taxi licensed to carry 10 people, only seven people plus a driver are allowed.

Buses: No more than 50% of their passenger carrying capacity, including both seating and standing passengers.

What are the rules for public transport?

Owners need to regularly sanitise their vehicles – including before pick-ups and after drop-offs. All door and window handles, arm rests and hand rails must be sanitised after every trip. Taxis must supply hand sanitiser (with a minimum of 60% alcohol content) to passengers, who must be "encouraged" to santise their hands.

Everyone – including the driver, marshall and passengers must wear clothface masks or a homemade item that covers the nose and mouth.

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Can I service my car?

No. But emergency automobile repairs are allowed for all under Level 4 lockdown rules.

What about expired vehicle and driver licences?

All learner's licences, driving licences, motor vehicle licence disks, temporary permits and road worthy certificates that expired during lockdown will be viewed as valid for thirty days starting from May 4th.

A motor trade number licence that expired during the lockdown will be deemed valid for the next six months. 

Driving licence testing centres and vehicle testing centres are open in Level 4 in lockdown.

Can I buy or sell a car?

Yes, some vehicle dealerships are open during Level 4 in lockdown.

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