The Road Traffic Management Corporation is promoting a number of interventions to reduce the number of fatalities on South Africa’s roads – including speed limit changes.
Presenting to parliament on Tuesday (15 February), the corporation said a programme is currently underway to reduce the speed in urban areas, particularly around schools and routes that cyclists frequent.
An accompanying presentation indicated that the speed limit should be reduced from 60km/h to 50km/h on urban roads, and from 120km/h to 110km/h on major roads.
This is in line with a recommendation made by the United Nations that countries of the world should look at reducing speed by 10km/h to reduce the number of fatalities, RTMC chief communication officer Simon Zwane said.
Speaking to BusinessTech, Zwane said that as a member of the UN’s roads council, this decision was binding for South Africa and the government is promoting the lower limit. However, he noted that authorities have not yet begun a formal process to change the regulations.
The United Nations has called on policymakers to act for low-speed streets worldwide, limiting speeds to 30km/h (20mph) where people walk, live and play.
The Department of Transport and the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) has previously looked at a proposal to review speed limits in South Africa, with a particular focus on the country’s highways.
This proposal would see the baseline top speeds across the country’s roads reduced by 20km/h.
It would also effectively drop the speed limit on the country’s highways from 120km/h to 100km/h, while the top speeds on main roads would drop from 100km/h to 80km/h. Speeds in residential areas would decrease from 60km/h to 40km/h.