However, Howard Dembovsky, chair of Justice Project SA — an NGO advocating for the improvement of road traffic law and enforcement — is not convinced the proposed changes will make a dent in road accident statistics.
“Whether there is an allowable threshold of alcohol in a person’s blood or breath sample or not is irrelevant.
“The problem SA currently faces is that very few driving under the influence arrests result in convictions.
“Removing the limit will not change that. Our courts will still not convict anyone if the state fails to provide the requisite evidence.
“Without wishing to throw the baby out with the bathwater, all we can see this achieving is increasing the number of arrests for driving under the influence — not increasing the conviction rate or reducing the number of intoxicated drivers on our roads and/or reducing carnage.”
But Dembovsky said the “obvious upside” is that it would remove doubt regarding “how much is too much liquor”.
When it comes to driving schools and instructors, the bill seeks to regulate the industry by “requiring all driving schools to be registered and graded by the relevant MEC, and the operation of unregistered and ungraded driving schools is prohibited”.
The bill also empowers MECs to suspend or cancel the registration of a driving school, seeks to prohibit examiners from having vested financial interests in driving schools and proposes there be more stringent requirements for the registration and grading of driving school instructors.
The Southern African Institute of Driving Instructors (SAIDI) believes the government is pushing for the tightening of legislation for the industry to reduce road carnage and the financial cost to the economy.
SAIDI's Robert Chandler said: “SAIDI has long recognised the need for regulation and standards and has strongly pushed the agenda during our participation at various legislative forums.”
But Chandler warned that it would be “extremely naive to believe that corruption would be rooted out.
“Corruption is horrendous. Unfortunately it is not merely confined to operators who are known as unregistered or unregulated. Unscrupulous “legitimate” operators also exploit the opportunity to increase income by unsavoury means.”