One of the primary issues that South Africa has experienced over the years is the problem of increased road carnage. Most of these cases are as a result of failure to comply with the traffic rules. There is increased ignorance by both the pedestrians and the vehicle drivers. According to a report by Gerrie (2007 p.169), 90% of the road accidents experienced in South Africa are caused by a traffic offence and has resulted to a national crisis. The judiciary of the country fails to implement the ‘simple’ rules that have led to further worsening of the situation. The fine charged on the traffic offenders is not sufficient to deal with the matter at hand. The immense corruption within the courts has also been a blow to the compliance of the traffic laws. In hefty cases, (Gerrie 2007 p.169), concludes that only 20% of them are settled. There are many initiatives that may be applied in a bid to improve the compliance with the traffic rules. Efficacy in law execution and an effective judiciary are some of the earlier suggested means of trying to elevate the compliance.
The Research Problem
This research will address the problem of identifying important administration challenges to successfully finalise traffic offences and test the viability of appropriate interventions to address the issue. The insufficiency in knowledge management within organisations contributes to the inability to finalise cases involving traffic offences. Also, the lack of knowledge sharing among organisation has promoted the unsuccessful rates of finalizing the offences committed on the roads. Therefore, identifying and categorising knowledge, identifying existing knowledge management systems, and sharing knowledge across organisations will enhance finalisation of traffic offences. To solve the existing problem, the researcher will develop several research themes that will address different research questions. The themes developed and their constituent research questions include:
Theme 1: Identification and categorisation of knowledge-based resources in administration of traffic law infringement
In line with this theme, the following research questions will be addressed:
I. Which statutes govern administration of the traffic law offences?
II. What technical and administrative knowledge for the administration of traffic laws exist?
III. Who owns the experimental knowledge in the administration of traffic offences?
Theme 2: The Use of Knowledge Sharing between and across Organisations
This theme addresses the following research questions:
I. How accessible is the knowledge on traffic management?
II. How is knowledge being shared in road traffic administration organisations?
III. Who are the knowledge sharers and how often do they share the knowledge?
IV. What platforms are used to share traffic administration knowledge in these institutions?
Theme 3: The existence of knowledge management systems to facilitate standard operational practices in the administration of traffic law Infringements.
The following are the research questions that are addressed by this theme:
I. To what extent has the existing knowledge been standardised or pulled together?
II. How is the knowledge on administration of traffic laws being managed?
III. How effective is the knowledge management in relation to the case load finalisation?
By elaborating on these themes, the researcher will be able to deliver interventions that can be transformed into standard regulations that help in improving compliance with road traffic laws in the country.
Chronology of Road Safety from the Late 1990s
In 1996, a delegation was sent to Australia to go and study the best road practices in the State of Victoria. This was referred to as the project STIP which later was called arrive alive. According to a report by Arrive Alive, the legislations which were applied from the Australian trip saw a reduction in the number of road accidents between the year 1996 and the year 1999. The department of transport had initiated arrive alive as a temporary campaign in 1997. The campaign was launched as a result of increased road carnage that was experienced between the year 1996 and the year 1997. The campaign was officially launched on 1 October 1997 and ended on 1 January 1998. The campaign involved putting up multiple road blocks along highways, mobile controls, and regular patrols along the major roads. The campaign received positive criticism as one of the best initiatives to ever be implemented within the transport sector of the country. The initiative had impacted the road users to have a positive attitude towards the traffic laws. The second phase of the campaign was initiated on February 1998 up to April the same year. In this phase, the promoters concentrated on addressing the issue of driver fatigue. The following campaign aimed at addressing the issue of pedestrian safety and sensitises the public of the best ways to uphold traffic regulations.
The Arrive Alive campaigns continued to be of great help to the transport department due to its efficacy in promoting road safety. However, the period between December 2002 and January 2003 saw an increase in the rate of road deaths as a result of failure to comply with the road safety rules. The blames fell on the laxity observed in the Arrive Alive promoters. However, the entire blame could not be placed on a mere initiative which was just trying to enforce laws that were already in place. In the year 2006, the transport month in South Africa was launched. The given month was October. During this launch by the transport department, there were three strategies that were also launched and their effects were of nation-wide. The strategies affected all transport sectors that is air, road, and rail. According to the publication by arrive alive (2005 p.1), the aim of the strategies was to ensure that the public safety was upheld during transport.
The enforcement order is only granted if the registrar is contented that the infringer declined to comply with both infringement notice and the courtesy letter, the penalties imposed on the infringer have not been paid, or there are no pending representations in case of a minor infringement. Also, the registrar must ascertain that the vehicle involved in the infringement belongs to the said infringer. The enforcement order must inform the infringer to pay the due date within one month after being issued with the enforcement order.
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