Today's Big Stories

Outdated K53 driving manual to get overhaul

The K53 driving manual is getting an update soon, and the Justice Project South Africa (JPSA) says it's long overdue.

Transport Minister Dipuo Peters announced that the handbook for driver’s and learner’s licence tests would be revamped in Parliament on Monday.

The changes are set to review suggestions from test assessors, the driving school industry, and the public.

Peters says amendments would be published in the Government Gazette for public comment.

Meanwhile, JPSA chair Howard Dembovsky says it's about time the manual was updated.

According to Dembovsky, when K53 was introduced into South African law in 1996, it had already been abolished as a method of safe driving in other countries.

He explains that driver and testing methodologies are updated regularly in countries such as the UK.

One of the main criticisms levelled against the K53 system is the over emphasis on pronounced observations and 'passing' technique.

People go to driving schools to learn how to pass their licences, not how to drive.

Howard Dembovsky, Chairperson of the Justice Project South Africa

Dembovsky advises that the revised manual needs to take into account technological advances in vehicles such as assisted heel starts and anti-lock braking (ABS) systems.

The K53 is unfortunately very outdated.

Howard Dembovsky, Chairperson of the Justice Project South Africa

He emphasised the importance of vehicle control measures in an effort to curb road fatalities and improve safety.

Dembovsky believes that hazard-perception testing needs to be introduced into the upcoming testing and training system.

Listen to Howard Dembovsky's views here:

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