Mr Instructor K53 Driving School

Learner's and Driver's Licensing the trusted way!

Rules of the Road


K53 Rules of the road in South Africa

Always comply with the rules of the road, unless otherwise directed by a traffic officer, a police officer or a road traffic sign.  It is an offence to break a rule of the road and punishable by law.  While complying with the rules of the road, you should also focus on and adhere to the surrounding road signs, road markings and traffic signals.

The most important rule of the road in South Africa is to always drive on the left-hand half of the road and to overtake other vehicles to their right-hand side, unless the road is wide enough to pass on the left-hand side without driving on the shoulder (left of the yellow line) of the road or obstructing the flow of traffic.

Herewith are the rules of the road in South Africa:

Driving off

  • Only drive off if it is safe to do so and without causing a dangerous situation.

Following distance

  • Maintain at least a 2-second following distance (space) behind the vehicle ahead of you.  For heavy motor vehicles a 3-second following distance is applicable.
  • Your stopping distance is increased (takes longer) when the road is wet or slippery, when you are travelling at a higher speed, when the vehicle is heavily loaded, when visibility is poor, when you are distracted in any way, when you are being followed closely by another vehicle, when the road has loose sand or gravel on it, when the condition of the road is poor, when you are towing another vehicle, trailer or caravan and when you are driving into a bend or sharp curve.
  • When the vehicle in front of you suddenly stops, you should be able to stop behind it in a controlled manner without having to swerve, skid or having to take any evasive action.

General speed limits


A general speed limit is applicable on all roads and does not have to be displayed by a road traffic sign.  Unless otherwise indicated by a road traffic sign, the following general speed limits are applicable -

Vehicles that weigh less than 9000kg -

  • On urban roads:  60 km/h
  • On rural roads:  100 km/h
  • On freeways:  120 km/h

Commercial vehicles that weigh more than 9000kg or any breakdown vehicle -

  • On urban roads:  60 km/h
  • On rural roads:  80 km/h
  • On freeways:  80 km/h

Buses and minibuses conveying passengers for reward -

  • On urban roads:  60 km/h
  • On rural roads:  100 km/h
  • On freeways:  100 km/h

Driving signals

Indicators and brake lights -

  • Signal (indicate) early enough and for sufficient duration to give adequate warning to other road users of your intention to change direction.
  • But do not confuse other traffic by indicating too soon, e.g. if there is still another road between your position and the place where you actually want to turn.  Other traffic might assume that you are turning at the first junction, which could affect their driving decisions and cause a collision.
  • Your signals must be clearly visible from all directions (front, rear and sides of vehicle).
  • Signal whenever you intend to stop, reduce speed suddenly, turn left or right, changes lanes or move to the left or right of the road.

Hand signals -

  • Use hand signals whenever your vehicle's indicator lights or brake lights are defective or non-functional.
  • Hand signals must be used to show other road users your intention to reduce speed, stop, turn right or left, change lanes, etc.  Click here to read more about applying hand signals.

Driving view must be unobstructed

No person shall operate a vehicle on a public road -

  • unless the driver/rider thereof have a full and clear view of the roadway ahead and to his or her right and left when the vehicle is in use,
  • which is not fitted with a rear view mirror or mirrors enabling the driver/rider of such vehicle to see in clear weather, a clear reflection of traffic to the rear (provided that this shall not apply in respect of a tractor),
  • which is a motor car, minibus, bus or goods vehicle unless it is fitted with an exterior rear view mirror on the driving side and an interior rear view mirror and
  • provided that where the interior rear view mirror does not enable the driver, when he or she is in the driving position, to see in clear weather, a clear reflection of traffic to the rear, an additional exterior rear view mirror shall be fitted on the side opposite to the driving seat and in such a case it shall not be necessary to fit an interior rear view mirror.

Defensive driving


  • Keep a clear space around your vehicle at all times to reduce the possibility of a collision.
  • The basic elements of K53 defensive driving are (1) SEARCH - keep a lookout in all directions, near and far, for possible hazards, (2) IDENTIFY - classify the type of hazard, if any, that you see, (3) PREDICT - evaluate the dangers related to the hazard and the possible outcome, (4) DECIDE - choose a reaction which will ensure your safety as well as the safety of all other road users and (5) EXECUTE - calmly and decisively perform the action decided on.  In short, these defensive driving elements are referred to as SIPDE.

Changing direction

  • The driver of a vehicle has to indicate their intention of changing direction to other road users by activating the direction indicator of such vehicle (signalling).
  • The last action before moving left or right, is to check in the blind spot on the side to which you are about to move.  The blind spot is an area where other vehicles disappear from your rear view mirror and side mirrors and can not be seen in your peripheral view yet.  You will have to look over your shoulder to check the blind spot.
  • Keep a good following distance and keep the front wheels straight while doing the blind spot check.
  • Change direction only once it is safe to do so.

Traffic lanes

  • Stay in your lane (between the lines).  Don't wander from lane to lane, unless you need to overtake another vehicle or you have to turn at the next intersection.
  • Change lanes only if it is safe to do so and without obstructing or endangering other traffic.
  • Indicate (signal) your intention to change lanes in sufficient time.
  • Check the blind spot (look over shoulder) before changing lanes to see if it is still safe to change lanes.
  • Don't straddle the lane lines.  Be sure to make a full lane change.

Two-way roads

  • Keep (drive) on the left half of the roadway and stay in your half of the roadway to avoid obstructing oncoming traffic, unless directed to do so by a traffic or police officer.

One-way roads

  • This means that all traffic will move in the same direction and you may drive on the left or right side of the road.

Divided roads

  • Whenever any public road has been divided into two or more roadways, no person shall drive/ride a vehicle upon such public road except upon the left hand roadway, unless directed or permitted by an appropriate road traffic sign or a traffic officer to use another roadway.
  • To turn, cross the road only at an opening and cross the intersection only if it is not prohibited by a road sign and if it is safe to do so.

Turning left


  • Keep as far to the left as possible before turning, without driving on the shoulder of the road.
  • Merge into the flow of traffic by adjusting your speed accordingly.
  • If turning left from a slipway, yield to other traffic already on the roadway, headed in the same direction as you.

Turning right

  • You must yield (give way) to oncoming traffic whenever you wish to turn right at an intersection.
  • Keep to the right of your side of the road, to allow other vehicles from behind to pass on the left if the road is wide enough.
  • Keep the front wheels straight while waiting to turn.
  • Keep to the left of any traffic island in the intersection and obey any road signs and markings.
  • Don't turn across the centre line if you might obstruct the flow of traffic.
  • Only move off and turn right once there is a sufficient break in traffic to ensure your safe crossing to the other side of the intersection.
  • When turning into a two-way road, cross the centre line of the road you are turning into before beginning to turn.

Driving on shoulder of road

  • No person shall drive a motor vehicle on the shoulder (left of the yellow line) of a public road, however (1) during the period between sunrise and sunset, such vehicle may be driven on the shoulder of a public road which is designated for one lane of traffic in each direction, (2) while such motor vehicle is being overtaken by another vehicle, (3) if he or she can do so without endangering himself or herself or other traffic, pedestrians or property on such road e.g. when you have a flat tyre and (4) if persons and vehicles upon such road are clearly discernible (visible) at a distance of at least 150m ahead.
  • Driving on the shoulder of the road is not permitted where there is more than one lane of traffic in each direction.

Passing oncoming traffic

  • When you pass oncoming traffic, keep as far to the left side of your lane, as is safe, to ensure a clear space between your vehicle and oncoming vehicles.

Overtaking on the right

  • Indicate (signal) your intention to overtake.
  • Overtake only if it is safe to do so.
  • Don't drive too close to the vehicle being overtaken.
  • Ensure that you are safely past the vehicle before returning to your lane.
  • Exceeding the speed limit when you overtake another vehicle is not allowed.
  • A driver of a vehicle who wishes to overtake another vehicle, on a road with multiple lanes, that is not in the left hand lane can make the driver of such vehicle aware that he or she intends to overtake by giving a visible signal by means of flashing the headlights of his or her vehicle.

  • Vehicles must kept left and overtake to the right on any freeway.

Overtaking on the left

  • Overtake on the left side only (1) if it is safe to do so and without driving on the verge or shoulder of the road, (2) if the other driver has indicated to turn right or is doing so, (3) in a one-way urban road that is wide enough for two lanes of moving traffic, (4) on a road with more than one lane of traffic moving in the same direction or (5) when directed to do so by a traffic or police officer.
  • Indicate (signal) your intention to overtake.
  • Don't drive too close to the vehicle being overtaken.
  • Ensure that you are safely past the vehicle before returning to your lane.
  • Exceeding the speed limit when you overtake another vehicle is not allowed.

Don't overtake

  • If you have to encroach onto the right-hand side of a two-way road where your view of the road is restricted by (1) the crest of a hill or rise, (2) a curve in the road or (3) any other place or circumstance that restricts your view of the road ahead.
  • If you need to cross a no-overtaking (solid white) line or painted island to do so.
  • A vehicle that has stopped at a pedestrian crossing or scholar patrol.
  • If it will create a danger to other road users or property owners.
  • If it is prohibited by a road sign or traffic officer.

Passing a bus

  • On approach to a stationary bus that you wish to overtake, be on the lookout for passengers approaching or leaving the bus and wanting to cross the road.

Being overtaken

  • If the vehicle behind you indicates the intention to overtake, give way by moving as far to the left of your lane as is safe and maintain your spacing while being overtaken.
  • Maintain your speed when being overtaken.  Don't accelerate or slow down.
  • You may drive on the left-hand shoulder of a single lane road between sunrise and sunset to allow vehicles to overtake, only if (1) it is safe to do so, (2) people and vehicles are visible for at least 150m ahead of you and (3) it is not a multi-lane road or freeway.

Stopping

  • You must not stop suddenly, except to avoid a collision or for any reason beyond your control.

No stopping

  • When instructed by a traffic officer not to stop.
  • Where stopping is forbidden by a road traffic sign.
  • Next to or opposite an excavation or obstruction in the road, if your vehicle will obstruct or endanger other traffic.
  • On, within or closer than 6m from a tunnel, bridge, subway or point at which a roadway has been narrowed.
  • Closer than 9m from the approaching side to a pedestrian crossing, except to allow pedestrians to cross.
  • On the right-hand side of a road, facing oncoming traffic.
  • Next to or opposite a vehicle parked in a road narrower than 9m.
  • Within a railway reserve at a level crossing.
  • In any other place where stopping could cause danger or an obstruction.

Compulsory stops

  • At a stop sign, a red traffic light or a scholar patrol.
  • At a four-way or a three-way stop sign.
  • When instructed by a traffic officer.
  • At a pedestrian crossing if a pedestrian is on or about to enter it on your half of the road.
  • If you are involved in a collision.
  • When signalled by a person leading or driving animals on the road or when animals are seen crossing a road.  The driver/rider may only move when all the animals have crossed and the road is safe to continue driving.

Parking

  • Parking is defined as stopping a vehicle, with or without passengers, for longer than is necessary to load or offload passengers or goods.

No parking areas

  • All no stopping areas.
  • Where prohibited by a traffic sign or traffic officer.
  • With the outer edge of any kerbside wheel more than 450mm into the roadway, except where permitted by a road sign (marking).
  • On the road or within 1m of the edge of the road outside an urban area.
  • Next to or within 1,5m on either side of a visible fire hydrant.
  • Within 5m of an intersection in an urban area.
  • In an urban area on a two-way road that is less than 5,5m wide.
  • Where the view of a traffic sign or road marking will be obstructed.
  • On or partially on a pavement or sidewalk.
  • On or partially on a traffic island.
  • Across or in front of a public or private vehicle entrance.
  • Over the actuating mechanism of a traffic light.
  • In a pedestrian mall or pedestrian lane.
  • Within 9m of the approach side of a pedestrian crossing.
  • Except for any reason beyond the control of the driver/rider or when given an instruction by a traffic or police officer.

No parking exceptions

  • Emergency or construction vehicles may park anywhere while rendering an essential service and displaying the necessary identification lamps.

Illegal parking

  • Illegally parked vehicles may be removed and impounded by a traffic officer.  Any costs incurred will be for the owner's account.

Abandoned vehicles

  • A vehicle is considered abandoned if (1) it may cause damage or obstruct traffic, (2) it is parked in a no stopping area or is illegally parked, (3) it is parked in a no-parking area, (4) it is parked for 7 days in the same place in an urban area or at a testing station, (5) it is parked for 24 hours in the same place outside an urban area, (6) ownership cannot be established or (7) if it is found in a public place without a number plate or with a false licence.
  • Abandoned vehicles may be impounded an any costs incurred will be for the owner's account.

Right of way

  • Yield at the junction of a traffic circle (roundabout) to vehicles within the junction approaching from the right.
  • Yield to oncoming traffic when you want to turn right at an intersection on a two-way road.
  • Yield to vehicles already on the roadway when you are exiting a slipway.

Conveying goods


Goods being transported on light and heavy motor vehicles -

  • must be securely fastened to, or be safely contained inside the vehicle.
  • must not exceed half the height of a light motor vehicle, measured from the ground, if carried on the roof, except for bicycles carried on the roof.
  • including the vehicle, must not exceed 4,3m in height, measured from the ground, on goods vehicles.
  • including the vehicle, must not be more than 2,5m wide or not more than 2,6m wide for heavy motor vehicles exceeding 12 000kg, excluding rear view mirrors or indicators.
  • must not project more than 300mm in front of the vehicle.
  • must not project more than 1,8m at the back of the vehicle.
  • must not have any brackets project more than 150mm beyond the widest part of the vehicle, excluding rear view mirrors or indicators.
  • must not obscure the driver's view.
  • must not touch the road surface.

Goods being transported on motorcycles -

  • a small, non-bulky package may be secured in front of the driver, provided it does not obstruct his view or control of the motorcycle.
  • must not project more than 600mm beyond the front axle.
  • must not project more than 900mm behind the rear axle.
  • must not project more than 450mm on either side of the wheels.
  • must not project more than 300mm beyond the wheel of the sidecar.

Safety markings

Goods being transported on light and heavy motor vehicles -

  • Loads projecting more than 150mm to the side or more than 300mm to the rear of a vehicle must be marked at each corner during the day with a 300mm x 300mm red flag.
  • Between sunset and sunrise, or any other times when persons or vehicles are not clearly visible due to unfavorable conditions, there must be white reflectors in the front, red reflectors at the back and yellow reflectors on the sides at each end.
  • If the load is less than 600mm wide, one red flag during the day or one red reflector at night is sufficient.

Overall width of vehicles

The following motor vehicles may not be used on a public road -

  • a bus of which the distance between the center-lines of the tyres of the two front wheels exceeds 1,9m, if the overall width of such bus exceeds 2,6m,
  • a goods vehicle the gross vehicle mass of which is 12 000kg or more, if the overall width thereof exceeds 2,6m or
  • any other vehicle, if the overall width thereof exceeds 2,5m.

Overall height of vehicles

The following motor vehicles may not be used on a public road together with any load thereon, if the overall height:

  • in the case of a double-deck bus exceeds 4,65m and
  • in the case of any other motor vehicle exceeds 4,3m.

Overall length of vehicles

The restrictions on the overall length of certain types of vehicles as follows -

  • A trailer (not semi-trailer) of which the GVM “Gross vehicle mass” is less than 12 000kg shall not exceed 8m.
  • A trailer (not semi-trailer) of which the GVM “Gross vehicle mass” is more than 12 000kg shall not exceed 12,5m.
  • An articulated motor vehicle shall not exceed 18,5m.
  • A bus-train shall not exceed 22m.
  • Any other vehicles shall not exceed 12,5m.
  • Any combination of motor vehicles shall not exceed 22m.

Conveying passengers


Passengers in light and heavy motor vehicles -

  • No passenger may stand inside a light motor vehicle.
  • Passengers may be carried on the back of an open truck or van if they are seated and there are enclosed sides of at least 350mm above the seating surface, or if they are standing and there are enclosed sides of at least 900mm high above the surface they are standing on.
  • All light and heavy motor vehicles are allowed to carry only a certain number of seated adult persons.  Two children up to the age of 6 are counted as one adult, and three children between the age of 6 and 13 are counted as two adults.  Each adult requires 380mm of seat length.
  • It is against the law for any person to be conveyed in a caravan.

Passengers on motorcycles -

  • No passenger, animal or article is allowed on motorcycles with an engine capacity of 50cc or less.
  • No more than 2 people may ride on a motorcycle at the same time.
  • Up to 2 adults may be seated in a sidecar.
  • Passengers may not travel in front of the driver.
  • Riders and passengers must sit astride the vehicle with both feet on the footrests or pedals.
  • All riders and passengers must wear suitable safety helmets.

Towing


Towing for light and heavy motor vehicles -

  • The two vehicles must not be more than 3,5m apart.
  • A tow rope longer than 1,8m must be clearly visible (e.g. marked with a red flag).
  • The person controlling the towed vehicle must have a valid driver's licence for that class of vehicle, unless the steerable wheels are clear of the ground or are controlled by the towing device.
  • The towed vehicle must have effective brakes, unless a solid draw bar (tow bar) is used.
  • The maximum speed allowed when towing another vehicle (with a tow rope) is 30 km/h, unless a solid bar is used or the towed vehicle is a semi-trailer.
  • A tractor towing a semi-trailer with passengers may exceed 30 km/h.
  • No passengers are allowed inside a caravan being pulled.

Towing for motorcycles -

  • No motorcycle may tow another vehicle.

Combination of vehicles

  • A combination of motor vehicles is restricted to a drawing vehicle and a maximum of two trailers or one other motor vehicle which is not a trailer.

  • In an emergency it is permitted to draw or tow one other motor vehicle, which is not a trailer, and a trailer.

Pedestrian crossings


  • Give way to pedestrians crossing or about to cross within a pedestrian crossing where they are on or approaching closely to your half of the roadway.
  • Don't overtake another vehicle that is stopped at a pedestrian crossing.
  • The “red man” light signal shows pedestrians that they may not cross the road at an intersection until the green man light signal is displayed.  The pedestrians must remain stationary on the sidewalk until a “green man” light signal is displayed.  If the red man light signal flashes, pedestrians who have not entered the roadway must wait until a “green man” light signal is displayed.  Pedestrians who are already in the intersection must cross the intersection as quickly as possible.

Reversing

  • Reverse only if it is safe to do so and not for a distance longer than is necessary.

Pavements


  • A motor vehicle may not travel, be pushed or pulled on a pavement.
  • A motor vehicle may not be parked on a pavement, except for vendors loading and offloading goods.

Animals on public roads


  • Uncontrolled animals are not allowed on public roads, or where they may stray onto a public road.
  • People herding and leading animals must carry a warning 150m ahead of and 150m behind the herd as follows:  a red light between sunset and sunrise and a 300mm x 300mm red flag at all times.
  • Only one light or flag is necessary if there are no more than 10 animals.

Emergency vehicles

  • Give immediate right of way to an emergency vehicle sounding a siren or warning device and displaying emergency warning lights at all times.
  • The following vehicles are regarded as emergency vehicles: a fire-fighting vehicle (red warning light), a fire-fighting response vehicle (red warning light), a rescue vehicle (red warning light), an emergency medical response vehicle (red warning light), an ambulance (red warning light), a vehicle driven by a traffic officer in the carrying out of his or her duties (blue warning light) and a vehicle driven by a person while engaged in civil protection (green warning light).

Collisions (accidents)


When involved in a collision, you must -

  • stop your vehicle immediately.
  • establish the nature and seriousness of any injuries.
  • summon the emergency services if there has been a death or injury.
  • assist the injured, if possible.
  • establish the extent of any damage.
  • provide your name, address, the vehicle's owner's name and address and the registration number of the vehicle.
  • report the collision to the police within 24 hours and present your driver's licence.

You may not -

  • take a narcotic drug or drink alcohol before reporting the collision.
  • remove a vehicle which was damaged in a collision from the scene, unless the driver or owner of the vehicle has given permission.
  • move the vehicle if a person has died or is injured, without authorization from a traffic officer.

You may -

  • move the vehicles if they are causing an obstruction, after marking their positions on the road.
  • remove the vehicle from a collision scene if nobody has been injured.

Damage to the road

  • You may not do anything that will damage the road surface, including spinning or dragging any wheel or using chocks or shoes between wheels of a moving vehicle.

Recklessness or negligence


  • Reckless or negligent driving is a criminal offence.
  • Don't disregard the safety of other road users or property when driving.
  • Drive with due consideration for other traffic.

Endangering traffic

  • Don't obstruct the free flow of traffic for any reason.
  • Don't leave any object on the road that could endanger or cause damage to any traffic.

Unattended vehicles

  • The handbrake (service brake) must always be applied when a vehicle is left unattended.
  • You may not leave the engine of your vehicle running, while unattended.

Vehicle control


  • The driver of a vehicle is always responsible for ensuring that the vehicle is safely controlled at all times.
  • Passengers, animals or objects may not interfere with the driver's view or ability to control the vehicle.
  • Passengers may not take hold of the steering wheel or vehicle controls, except where the driver becomes incapable (e.g. heart attack).

Moving vehicle


  • Passengers may not embark or disembark (climb onto or off) while the vehicle is moving.
  • No animal or person is permitted on the roof, step, bumper or running board of a vehicle, while the vehicle is moving.

Safety


Light and heavy motor vehicles -

  • No part of the driver's or any passenger's body may protrude from the vehicle, except to give legal hand signals, to park, to examine or to test the vehicle.
  • The driver's seating position must provide full control of the vehicle and a clear view of the road ahead.
  • The rear view and side mirrors must be adjusted to allow maximum view to the rear and sides of the vehicle.
  • The driver and all passengers should wear seat belts where fitted.  If a seat belt is fitted on a vacant seat, do not sit where there is no seat belt.

Motorcycles -

  • The mirrors must be adjusted to allow maximum view to the rear and sides of the vehicle.
  • All riders and passengers must wear suitable safety helmets.
  • Riders and passengers must sit astride the vehicle with both feet on the footrests or pedals.
  • Riders may not hold onto another moving vehicle.
  • Riders must always keep at least one hand on the handlebars.
  • Make sure that both wheels remain in contact with the road at all times.

Motorcycle riding


  • Ride in a single file only (one behind the other).
  • You may not ride alongside any vehicle in the same lane, except to overtake.
  • Two motorcycles may not overtake another vehicle at the same time.
  • Don't weave from lane to lane or from side to side.

Motor sports

  • Motor sports are not allowed on public roads without the written consent of the provincial MEC or local authorities.

Convoys

  • Motor convoys may not travel from 18h00 on the evening before any weekend, long weekend or during the period 25 to 26 December until 06h00 the following day.
  • This rule applies to convoys of new vehicles being driven long distances for delivery purposes.

Alcohol and drugs

  • If you are under the influence of intoxicating liquor or narcotic drugs, you may not drive a vehicle or be behind the wheel of a vehicle with the engine running.
  • The permitted concentration of alcohol is less than 0,05g per 100ml of blood (less than 0,02g per 100ml of blood for professional drivers).
  • It must be less than 0,24mg per 1000ml of breath specimen (less than 0,10mg for professional drivers).

Communication devices


  • You may not hold or operate a hand-held communication device (cellphone or other mobile devices) while driving.
  • You may use such a device while driving only if it is not being held in the hand or with any other part of your body.
  • This rule does not apply to drivers engaged in official emergency services, provided that they drive with due regard to the safety of other road users.

Running the engine

  • The engine should not be allowed to run when a vehicle is left unattended.
  • Don't run the engine if it is giving off excessive smoke.
  • Don't run the engine if the vehicle is not under the control of a driver.
  • The engine should not run when the fuel cap is open.

Pollution


  • Don't deposit petrol, oil or other objectionable matter on the road or roadside.
  • Don't allow the engine to give off too much smoke or fumes.

Noisy vehicles

  • Don't operate a vehicle which has a noisy exhaust or any noisy accessory on a public road.

Using a vehicle


  • Don't drive, get into, onto or tamper with a vehicle without permission.
  • Don't alter or tamper with the engine number without consent from the registering authority.

Freeways


  • Learner drivers are allowed to drive on freeways, if accompanied by a licenced driver, except for motorcycles.
  • You may not stop on a freeway, except in compliance with a road sign or instruction given by a traffic officer, in an emergency or in a designated area.  This rule does not apply to officials engaged in traffic control, rescue work, freeway maintenance, essential public service or civil protection.
  • If you are in the far right-hand lane and the vehicle behind you indicates the intention to overtake, signal your intention and then move safely over to the next lane to your left and don't accelerate while being overtaken.
  • When you are travelling on a freeway and notice a vehicle in front of you wishes to merge from an on-ramp, you must allow that vehicle to merge in front of you.
  • Hand signals are not to be used on a freeway except in an emergency.
  • Animal-drawn vehicles are not allowed on freeways.
  • Pedal cycles are not allowed on freeways.
  • Motorcycles, 50cc or less, motor tricycles, motor quadrucycles and electric motorcycles are not allowed on freeways.
  • Special vehicles 230kg or less, adapted for people with disabilities, are not allowed on freeways.
  • Tractors are not allowed on freeways, unless they are engaged in freeway maintenance work.
  • Pedestrians may only be within a reserved parking or stopping space on a freeway.  This rule does not apply to officials engaged in traffic control, rescue work, freeway maintenance, essential public service or civil protection.
  • Animals are allowed only in a reserved parking or stopping area, provided they can't stray onto the freeway.

Hooting

  • Don't hoot unless it is for safety reasons.
  • The hooter (warning device) must be audible from a distance of 90m.
  • The hooter must be in good working order i.e. the tone of the hooter's pitch may not vary.
  • Sirens or warning devices that play a tune may not be used in private vehicles.

Tyres

Light and heavy motor vehicles -

  • Vehicles must be fitted with pneumatic tyres, which display throughout, across the breadth and around the entire circumference, a pattern that is clearly visible, and has a tread of at least 1mm in depth at any point on the surface of the tyre, or not level with any tyre depth indicator if one is fitted.
  • No canvas cord or steel belting should be visible and tyres must be in a good overall condition.
  • The tyres must not have any tears or cuts longer than 25mm or 10% of the tyre width, or deep enough to reach the inner cords.
  • There may not be any bulges or lumps anywhere on the tyre surface.

Motorcycles -              

  • Motorcycles with an engine capacity exceeding 50cc must be fitted with tyres that display throughout, across its breadth and around its entire circumference, a pattern which is clearly visible and has a tread of at least 1mm in depth.
  • Motorcycles with an engine capacity of less than 50cc must be fitted with pneumatic tyres and the tread pattern must be visible on at least 80% of the tyre's full width.
  • Motorcycles may not be fitted with retreated tyres.
  • Tyres may not show any canvas fabric or steel belting and must be in a good overall condition.  All treads and sides of tyres must be free of breaks or cuts longer than 25mm or 10% of the tyre width, or deep enough to reach the inner cords.
  • Tyres must also be free of any lumps or bulges.

Seat belts

  • Drivers and all passengers must wear seat belts where they are fitted.
  • Where no seat belt is fitted on the front passenger seat, children up to the age of 14 must sit on the back seat.
  • Children up to the age of 3 must be seated where an appropriate child restraint is used.
  • If seat belts have been removed, the vehicle may not be used on public roads.
  • If there is a vacant seat that has a seat belt fitted, no one may occupy a seat that is not fitted with a seat belt.
  • You may unfasten your seat belt while parking or reversing.
  • The driver is responsible to ensure that all passengers wear seat belts.

Emergency triangles

  • At least one double-sided red reflective triangle, meeting SABS specifications, must be carried in all motor vehicles.
  • When a vehicle is for any reason stationary on the roadway ( e.g. breakdown) of a public road, the driver of such vehicle shall display at least one emergency warning sign (triangle) on the roadway.
  • Triangles must be displayed at least 45m behind the vehicle where it is stationary on the roadway or in the direction from which traffic will approach such vehicle when travelling on the side of the roadway closest to such motor vehicle.
  • The sign shall be placed approximately as far from the edge of the roadway as the transverse center of the motor vehicle is from the edge of the roadway and the reflective side of the sign shall face in the direction from which any traffic will approach.

  • The above rules shall not apply where a motor vehicle is stationary on a place where a road traffic sign authorizes the loading or unloading of a vehicle, or in compliance with any direction conveyed by a road traffic sign or given by a traffic officer, or on account of other traffic on the public road concerned and while the driver occupies the driving seat of such motor vehicle, or in the course of events accompanying the carrying out of a State or municipal function.

Headlights

  • When driving, headlights must be switched on (1) between sunset and sunrise and (2) any other time when, due to insufficient light or unfavorable weather conditions, visibility is 150m or less.
  • Provided that these provisions shall not apply to a motor vehicle, which is (1) parked off the roadway of a public road, (2) in a parking place demarcated by an appropriate road traffic sign or (3) within a distance of 12m from a lighted street lamp illuminating the road on which such vehicle is parked.
  • When riding a motorcycle, the headlights must be lighted at all times during the day and night.
  • All lamps must be undamaged, unobscured, properly secured, and capable of being lit at all times.

Headlights: dipped beam

  • A motor vehicle's lights, when switched to the dipped beam, may not strike the road surface further than 45m ahead of the vehicle.

Headlights: main beam

  • The bright lights (main beam) may be used only outside built-up areas or when there is no oncoming traffic, and must be capable of adequately illuminating an area ahead of the motor vehicle, enabling the driver/rider to see any person, vehicle or substantial object at a distance of at least 100m.
  • Remember to dip the main beam (brights) of your vehicle for oncoming traffic, as well as when following another vehicle.

Rear lights

  • Rear lights (tail lights) must be fitted at the back of all vehicles and emit a red light.  Light and heavy motor vehicles must be fitted with at least one lamp on each side at the rear.

Stop lamps

  • All vehicles must be fitted with stop lamps (brake lights) at the rear.  When in use, they must emit a red light, of which the intensity shall be greater than that of the light emitted by the rear lamps and must be visible in normal sunlight at a distance of 30m to a person of normal eyesight.  Heavy motor vehicles must have at least one stop lamp on each side at the rear of the vehicle.

  • When a stop lamp is illuminated, this indicates that the vehicle is decreasing speed and may stop.

Parking lights

  • Parking lights must be used only when the vehicle is parked outside a demarcated parking bay or in a dark area 12m or more from a street light and a vehicle may not be driven on a public road with only the parking lamps lighted while such vehicle is in motion.

Direction indicators

  • All vehicles must be equipped on both sides with flasher type direction indicators (lights).  Each time when the driver of a vehicle intends to change direction (e.g. turning left or right or when changing lanes on a public road, etc), it is compulsory to make use of direction indicators to signal their intention to other road users.  When direction indicators are in use, they must show an intermittently flashing light of such intensity that it is clearly visible in normal daylight at a distance of 30 meters to a person of normal eyesight.  Indicator lamps, when in use, must emit white, yellow or amber light to the front and yellow, amber or red light to the rear of such vehicle.

Emergency lights

  • Emergency warning lights (hazards) must be used only in an emergency or when the vehicle is parked in a hazardous position, which cannot be avoided.

Number plate lamps

  • All vehicles must be fitted with at least one number plate lamp (light) at the rear, illuminating the number plate.  Every letter and figure of such plate must be visible from a distance of 20m by a person of normal eyesight.

Fog lamps

  • Fog lamps (lights) fitted to your vehicle may only be lit in conditions of poor visibility, caused by snow, fog, mist, dust or smoke.

Spotlights

  • Adjustable spotlights may not be fitted to private vehicles, except when fitted and used for official purposes on any ambulance, rescue vehicle, fire-fighting vehicle, police vehicle or traffic control vehicle; or when fitted to a vehicle owned by a medical practitioner or veterinarian (used for professional duties only); or when fitted to a breakdown vehicle or a vehicle employed in connection with the supply of electricity or other public essential services (provided that it is used solely at the scene of an accident or breakdown or for the examination of overhead telephone, telegraph or power lines).

Number plates

  • A South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) approved number plate shall be fixed to the vehicle in such a manner that it is not easily detachable, in an upright position or within 30 degrees of such position, in such a manner that each letter and figure thereon is clearly legible and that the whole number plate is clearly visible.
  • One number plate must be fitted to the back of a motor cycle, motor tricycle, or trailer and two number plates, one to the back and one to the front, of all other motor vehicles.

Steering gear

Light and heavy motor vehicles -

  • A motor vehicle may not be used on a public road unless all parts of the steering are maintained in a condition, which enables the vehicle to be steered safely and efficiently.

Motorcycles -

  • You may not use a motorcycle on a public road, unless all parts of the steering gear are maintained in a condition, which enables the motorcycle to be steered safely and efficiently, unless the distance between the outside edges of the handlebars is (1) between 600 and 800 mm in respect of motorcycles having an engine with a cylinder capacity of 200 cc more, (2) between 500 and 800 mm in respect of motorcycles having an engine with a cylinder capacity of less than 200 cc and (3) of which the outer ends of the hand grips on the handlebars are higher than 500 mm above the seat height or lower than the seat height.

Turning radius

  • A motor vehicle may not be used on a public road if the turning radius of such vehicle exceeds 13,1m.

Brakes

  • Light and heavy motor vehicles must be equipped with a service brake (foot brake), a parking brake (hand brake) and an emergency brake (could be one and the same as the parking brake), which are in good working order.
  • Motorcycles must be equipped with two independent braking systems, one of which shall act on the front wheel and the other which shall act on the rear wheel(s), which are in good working order.

Windscreen

  • The transparent windscreen of a vehicle, must afford the driver sufficient visibility for safe driving, be of safety glass and have visible light transmittance through the windscreen of at least 70%.

Windscreen wipers

  • A light and heavy motor vehicle with a windscreen must be fitted with at least one windscreen wiper and must, when in operation, wipe the outside of the windscreen directly in front of the driver, continuously, evenly and adequately.

Exhaust silencers and pipes

  • Any vehicle must be equipped with an efficient exhaust silencer, which must allow the exhaust gas from the engine to be projected through such silencer, not emit exhaust gas or smoke from the engine which is so dense as to cause a nuisance to, or obstruct the vision of other road users, be in such a position that oil or other flammable liquid or material cannot drip or fall onto it and be so maintained that exhaust gas or smoke does not leak into the driving cab or passenger compartment of the vehicle.

  • A vehicle may not be used on a public road without an efficient exhaust silencer, unless the gas from the engine is projected through such silencer, if the exhaust gas or smoke from the engine is so dense as to cause a nuisance to, or obstruct the vision of other road users, if the exhaust pipe or silencer thereof is in such a position that oil or other flammable liquid or material can drip or fall onto it, is not in efficient working order or is so placed and maintained that exhaust gas or smoke leaks into the driving cab or passenger compartment of the vehicle.

Fuel tank, electrical wiring and battery

  • A motor vehicle may not be used on a public road if the fuel tank, carburetor, fuel receptacle or fuel pipes thereof is defective or so exposed that it constitutes a source of danger, if the fuel tank is not fitted with an effective cap or unless the electrical wiring and battery are properly installed, insulated and maintained so that such wiring and battery do not constitute a source of danger.

Engine

  • A light and heavy motor vehicle may not be used on a public road, unless the engine thereof is so covered as not to be a source of danger.

Speedometers

  • A vehicle, which is designed for, or capable of, reaching a speed of 60 km/h or more, must be equipped with a speedometer, which is in a good working order.

Retro-reflectors

Retro-reflectors fitted to light motor vehicles -

  • A light motor vehicle must be fitted on the rear of it with two red retro-reflectors, one on each side.

Retro-reflectors fitted to heavy motor vehicles -

  • A heavy motor vehicle must be fitted on the rear of such vehicle, at the same height, with two red retro-reflectors, one on each side.
  • A heavy motor vehicle or a combination of motor vehicles may not be used on a public road, if the overall length of such vehicle or combination exceeds 7m, unless there is fitted on each side of such vehicle so many yellow retro-reflectors as may be necessary to ensure that no two successive yellow retro-reflectors are more than 3,6m apart.  If yellow reflective strips are fitted to a goods vehicle, yellow retro-reflectors are not necessary.

Retro-reflectors fitted to motorcycles -

  • You may not ride your motorcycle or motorcycle with a sidecar or motor tricycle on a public road unless there is fitted on the rear of such cycle a red retro reflector.

Yellow reflective material

  • Yellow reflective material (as prescribed), shall be fitted to the sides and rear of all goods vehicles of which the gross vehicle mass exceeds 10 000kg.  Goods vehicles of which the GVM “Gross vehicle mass” does not exceed 10 000kg may be fitted with such strips on the sides and rear, but is not compulsory.

Side car attached to a motorcycle

  • No person shall use a motorcycle with sidecar on a public road, unless such sidecar is attached to the left side of the motorcycle.
  • No sidecar may be attached to a motorcycle having an engine with a cylinder capacity of less than 50cc.

Vehicle licence and licence disc

  • A motor vehicle licence is issued for each vehicle in terms of the National Road Traffic Act and licenses a vehicle to be used on a public road.
  • The licence disc should be cut out and affixed to the lower left-hand corner on the inside of the vehicle's windscreen or otherwise in the disc holder as per Regulation 36 of the Act.
  • A motor vehicle licence and licence disc shall be valid for a period of 12 months from the first day of the month in which such licence and licence disc were issued and the date of expiry of such licence shall be shown on the motor vehicle licence and licence disc.
  • Period of grace:  a motor vehicle may within a period of 21 days after the date of expiry of 12 month disc, be operated on a public road while the licence number allocated to such motor vehicle and the licence disc issued in respect of such motor vehicle prior to the date on which the motor vehicle licence and licence disc became null and void, are displayed in the manner prescribed.

Change of address

  • When the holder of a licence to drive a motor vehicle which was issued in terms of the National Road Traffic Act has changed his or her place of residence permanently, he or she shall, within 14 days after such change, notify in the prescribed manner the registering authority in whose area he or she is ordinarily resident of his or her new residential and postal address.

Offences

  • The owner of a vehicle is also responsible for all offences committed with his/her vehicle on a public road, if he/she permitted the use of the vehicle.

Driver must be licensed

  • A licence authorizing the driving of a motor vehicle shall be issued by a driving licence testing centre in accordance with the National Road Traffic Act and shall be either a provisional licence, to be known as a learner’s licence or a full licence, to be known as a driving licence.
  • The driver must at all times keep such original licence on their person or in the vehicle that they are driving.
  • A person with a learner's licence must at all times be accompanied by a fully licensed driver for the same code of vehicle, except for motorcycles.

Professional driver permit

  • No person shall drive a motor vehicle of a prescribed class on a public road except in accordance with the conditions of a professional driving permit issued to him or her in accordance with the National Road Traffic Act and unless he or she keeps such permit with him or her in the vehicle, provided that this requirement shall not apply to the holder of a learner’s licence who drives such vehicle while he or she is accompanied by a person registered as a professional driver in respect of that class of vehicle and unless he or she keeps such professional driving permit with him or her in the vehicle.

Disqualification from obtaining a licence

A person is disqualified from obtaining or holding a learner's or driving licence -

  • if such licence relates to a class of motor vehicle which he or she may already drive under a licence held by him or her,
  • where a licence to drive a motor vehicle held by him or her has been cancelled by a competent court or authority, for such period as he or she may not apply for a licence,
  • where a licence to drive a motor vehicle held by him or her has been suspended by a competent court or authority, while such suspension remains in force,
  • during any period in respect of which he or she has been declared by a competent court or authority to be disqualified from obtaining or holding a licence to drive a motor vehicle, while such disqualification remains in force,
  • If such person is addicted to the use of any drug, having a narcotic effect or the excessive use of intoxicating liquor and
  • If suffering from one of the following diseases or disabilities: uncontrolled epilepsy, sudden attacks of disabling giddiness or fainting due to hypertension or any other cause, any form of mental illness to such an extent that it is necessary that he or she be detained, supervised, controlled and treated as a patient in terms of the Mental Health Act, 1973, any condition causing muscular in coordination, uncontrolled diabetes, defective vision ascertained in accordance with a prescribed standard or any other disease or physical defect which is likely to render him or her incapable of effectively driving and controlling a motor vehicle of the class to which such licence relates without endangering the safety of the public, provided that deafness shall not of itself be deemed to be such a defect.

Learner's Licence Codes

Code 1:  Motorcycles with an engine capacity of 125 cubic centimeters or less

  • The holder of a Code A1 learner’s licence is authorized to ride motorcycle on a public road however a motor quadrucycles are not allowed to be ride on a public road;
  • To obtain a Code A1 learner’s licence you must be at least 16 years of age;
  • If you are under the age of 18, you may only ride a motorcycle with a cylinder capacity not exceeding 125 cubic centimeters.
  • Code A1 learners licence does not authorize the carrying of passengers.
  • Code A1 learner’s licence in respect of a motorcycle, shall not authorize the holder to drive a motorcycle on a public road while carrying another person.
  • Your learner’s licence will be valid for 24 months from the date on which the approved test was passed, this is to give you enough time for your practical lessons with a accredited driving school.

Code 1:  Motorcycles with an engine capacity greater than 125 cubic centimeters

  • The holder of a A learner’s licence is authorized to ride motorcycle on a public road however a motor quadrucycles are not allowed to be ride on a public road;
  • To obtain a A learner’s licence you must be at least 18 years of age;
  • Code A learners licence does not authorize the carrying of passengers.
  • Code A learner’s licence in respect of a motorcycle, shall not authorize the holder to drive a motorcycle on a public road while carrying another person.
  • The holder of a Code A learner’s licence is authorized to ride Code A1 motorcycle on a public road also.
  • Your learner’s licence will be valid for 24 months from the date on which the approved test was passed, this is to give you enough time for your practical lessons with a accredited driving school.

Code 2:  Light Motor Vehicles

  • The holder of a code B learner’s licence is authorized to drive any motor vehicle or combination of motor vehicles other than a motorcycle or a motor tricycle, of which neither the “Tare”, “Gross Vehicle Mass”, nor the “Gross Combination Mass” of such vehicle, or vehicles exceeds 3500 kilograms.
  • The holder of a code B learner’s licence shall drive only those vehicles he or she is authorized to drive while under the direct supervision of a person who holds a driving licence for not less than two years in the applicable class of vehicle.
  • To obtain a code B learner’s licence you must be at least 17 years of age.
  • Your learner’s licence will be valid for 24 months from the date on which the approved test was passed, this is to give you enough time for your practical lessons with a accredited driving school.

Code 3:  Heavy Motor Vehicles

  • Vehicles with tare weight between 3 500 kg and 16 000 kg, minibuses buses and goods vehicles with GVM between 3 500 kg and 16 000 kg.
  • A trailer with GVM of 750 kg or less may be attached – Includes Code 2.
  • The holder of a Code C1 learner’s licence shall drive any motor vehicle or combination of motor vehicles other than a motorcycle, or tricycle while under the direct supervision of a person who holds a driving licence for not less than two years in the applicable class of vehicle.
  • To obtain a Code C1 learner’s licence you must be at least 18 years of age.
  • Your learner’s licence will be valid for 24 months from the date on which the approved test was passed, this is to give you enough time for your practical lessons with a accredited driving school.

Goods vehicle

This is not a rule of the road but a definition that forms part of the test questions and is a very important definition, as it is used throughout the regulations.  Note that the following vehicles are by definition goods vehicles:

  • Truck-tractor
  • Breakdown vehicle
  • Converter dolly
  • Adopter dolly

Gross vehicle mass (GVM)

This is not a rule of the road but a definition that forms part of the test questions and is a very important definition, as it is used throughout the regulations.

The GVM, in relation to a motor vehicle, means the maximum mass of such vehicle and its load as specified by the manufacturer thereof or, in the absence of such specification, as determined by the registering authority.

Gross combination mass (GCM)

This is not a rule of the road but a definition that forms part of the test questions and is a very important definition, as it is used throughout the regulations.

The GCM, in relation to a motor vehicle which is used to draw any other motor vehicle or trailer, means the maximum mass of any combination of motor vehicles and/or trailer(s), including the drawing vehicle and load as specified by the manufacturer thereof or, in the absence of such specification, as determined by the registering authority.


011 672 3360
084 910 0022

Pass your learners and drivers licence test first time with Mr Instructor K53 Driving School.  We operate around the Randburg, Sandton, Fourways and Roodepoort areas of Johannesburg.

Click here to book your lessons online.  Leave a message on our Contact Form!


WEBSITE PAGE LINKS

home
driving school info
price list
suburbs covered
testimonials
about us
training philosophy
our team
gallery
learners license
general info
requirements
test booking
day of test
learners classes
drivers license
general info
requirements
test booking
day of test
driving lessons
study online
learners licence study material
learners license practice test papers
drivers licence study material
other info
traffic departments
test bookings
driving test tips
faq
blog
advertise
news headlines
useful links
selfhelp tips
contact us


Please SHARE this page with your friends and family via the buttons below.