Paper presented at the 26th Annual Southern African Transport Conference 9 - 12 July 2007 "The challenges of implementing policy?", CSIR International Convention Centre, Pretoria, South Africa. ABSTRACT:Heavy vehicle overloading and road safety continue to be major problems on South African roads despite efforts at more effective enforcement by the road and traffic authorities. Overloading causes premature road deterioration and, together with inadequate vehicle maintenance, driver fatigue and poor driver health, contributes significantly to South Africa’s poor road safety record. This paper describes the most recent developments of an initiative to introduce meaningful self-regulation in the heavy vehicle transport industry through a Road Transport Management System (RTMS) with the aim of contributing to the road authorities’ efforts to address the above problems. During 2003 a heavy vehicle accreditation scheme was developed and implemented in the forestry industry in KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga. Based on an Australian model, the scheme seeks to promote compliance with standards in the areas of load control and securement, vehicle maintenance and driver wellness. In line with the Department of Transport’s National Overload Control Strategy, its aim is to encourage heavy vehicle operators, consignees and consignors to take more responsibility for ensuring that their loads are transported legally. Although the pilot project was initiated in forestry, the project has been executed keeping the broader heavy vehicle transport industry in mind. The success of the project in forestry resulted in similar initiatives commencing in other industries including pulp, paper and board, bitumen, coal, sugar and aggregate and sand. A national steering committee was established to co-ordinate the various initiatives and a strategy document developed. As part of this strategy, Standards SA of the SABS was approached to develop national standards for transport operators, consignors and consignees using the documentation developed for the forestry industry as a starting point. This process has commenced with the constituting of STANSA TC181B: Road Transport Management Systems. Although this is essentially a private sector initiative, since the commencement of the project in forestry, there has been strong support and involvement from government, including the national Department of Transport, the SA National Roads Agency, various provincial road authorities and the Department of Trade and Industry.
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