Sometimes a request for assistance is so uniquely worded that it brings both a smile and a tear to your eye. The Arrive Alive website received one such request for assistance from a friend which we simply have to share – both for the importance of the matter – and for the beautifully descriptive account of what brought about the request.
We often find that employees are appointed and then required to drive a company vehicle at some stage. With so much corruption going on and fake licences it is important for employers that their vehicles will be driven by someone who is a legally licensed driver with a valid driving licence.
How can an employer go about checking whether the driving license of an employee is valid and not fake?
My daughter over-heard my conversation to a family member about this “C1 licence”. She jumped in and advised that one of her ex-colleagues where she was working was or did apply to do a C1 license test. Having failed her practical, and desperate for the driver’s licence, she could go for this C1. Its well known amongst the “desperate” ones. All they are required to do is drive a small truck by literally “Pulling off and doing a stop” and because the vehicle is automatic, no gears etc., they pass”. Everyone who heard the conversation expressed concern. My daughter left the company so she does not know the outcome.
My brother-in-law who has a code 14 having worked in the fire service driving the full spectrum of licenses confirmed that in his collection of licences he has a C1 and he had to do months of driving buses and trucks in and around town, highways and negotiating turns, parking and reversing with and without a trailer for this group.
I took her for a test drive. Now this all makes sense…
Stalls on take off and eventually after restarting for the 5th time leaps the car into motion like a springbok and can’t change gears whilst on-the-go, forget about using a flicker and turning the corner. When she braked the screeching tires echoing in my ears, I wiped my spit off the front windscreen with my flapping arm as the seat belt whip-lashed me back with bone crushing force into my seat. My eyeballs being sucked back into their sockets were still trying to focus. I kept telling myself to breath as I heard her repeatedly saying … “It’s been a while since I drove”. (Excuse my expression but) “F-@k me you’re not kidding” I blurted out. Only for her to quickly follow up with a profound statement … “I did not buy my licence you know!”
I’m shocked yet pleased that I took my life in my or lets rather say her hands to do a test drive. How on earth does one protect oneself against this!
So simply… I’m going to have to approach this another way – I’ll insist on a driving instructor assessment. I’ll send everyone’s license off for “hoot sack” and see what comes of it.
Firstly, for future reference the validity of a driving licence can be verified free of charge and stress at http://www.aarto.gov.za/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=80&Itemid=161, where all you need is their driving licence number and their ID number.
As for the test for a code C1 driving licence, there is a little more to it than simply pulling off and stopping, but I do agree that the test is pathetic in relation to the mass of vehicles it allows people to drive (up to 16,000kg GVM). If a DLTC is however testing persons who use automatics to take the test and then issuing them with an unendorsed driving licence allowing them to drive manuals, it should be reported.
All of this having been said, I am of the firm conviction that South Africa’s driving licence legislation is in dire need of a revamp, including but not limited to reviewing training and testing and then the retesting of all licence holders every x amount of years (5 or 10) when they renew their licenses. These are not particularly popular notions – especially amongst those who have held their licenses for ages and know damn well that they will fail if they were to be retested.
National Chairman – Justice Project South Africa (NPC)