Minister tells traffic cops to confiscate drivers' licences

It might be unconstitutional, but that hasn't stopped the transport minister from instructing police to confiscate the licences of traffic offenders.

Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele has called on traffic police to confiscate the licences of traffic offenders on the spot as a “desperate” measure to keep the death toll on South Africa’s roads down—despite a steady decrease in the number of people killed in road accidents during the festive season over the past two years.

ETV News reported on Tuesday evening that the confiscation of licences would raise questions about whether such action would be within the law as only the courts may revoke someone’s licence.

However, the department said it was prepared to face any consequences in its effort to keep the road death toll down and that desperate times called for desperate measures.

About 900 people have been killed on the country’s roads since the beginning of December.

A total of 1 149 people were killed on South Africa’s roads between December 1 and December 28 in 2010 and 1 304 deaths were recorded for the same period in 2009.—Sapa

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