As of late, South Africans are seeing the government implementing a series of new regulations and legislations. However, one of the latest changes in the pipeline involves motorists.
This follows transport director-general Alec Moemi explaining that the government is currently planning to launch new motor vehicle licence plates.
He explains the new systems are not without good cause. In fact, while presenting the National Road Traffic Amendment Bill to parliament, Moemi claimed the changes are especially significant when identifying cars during road accidents.
When looking at the new system, Moemi stated microdots will be embedded into the new number plates—and these will then be regulated.
Furthermore, manufacturers of these number plates, as well as those who hand them out to motorists, will also be regulated. This is to guarantee, forged plates are prevented. Thus, if a counterfeit plate is produced, the new system will be able to identify the forged plate, according to Moemi.
He further points out the technology is already in use across the country’s highways. Most notably in Gauteng and Cape Town, as well as at the country’s borders. Additionally, similar technology can also be used to scan vehicles which travel under highway bridges. Not a large selling point, considering this is the very purpose of a standard number plate—to be able to identify a vehicle from distance or up close.
In respect to crime and road safety, Moemi highlights the new system will also give the government a better understanding of road usage within the country.
At this point in time, South Africa’s traffic impact is being calculated by department employees at intersections, or by using Gauteng’s e-toll gantries. Therefore, he affirms microdots will assist the government in measuring traffic patterns and hotspots—but does this and the aforementioned features hold enough merit to justify a national outlay in a healing economy?
Weighing in on the new number plate system is a person who is well-versed and holds many years experience in the industry, Candiss Nell of Newcastle Numberplate Centre & Q 4 Me. Elaborating on the matter and offering peace of mind to motorist, Nell states, the new number plate system will prove to be a costly endeavour. However, she assures, motorists need not worry too much about it in the near future—stressing this point by saying, “This is still going to be a long process.”
While Moemi enthused the microdots will be especially helpful in identifying vehicles, Nell highlights there are several ways to identify vehicles already, thereby making this point moot.
With the government looking at implementing a new number plate system, what are your thoughts? Share your opinions with us in the comment section below.