Can you please advise me on the rules and regulations on the distance and circumstances that a traffic officer can order a truck driver to drive to a weighbridge from a mat scale?
A traffic officer is given certain powers in terms of the National Road Traffic Act – specifically in this case in terms of Section 3 I – ascertain the dimensions of, the load on, or the mass, axle mass load or axle unit mass load of, any vehicle, or the mass of any combination of vehicles, loaded or unloaded, and if necessary for the purpose of ascertaining such mass, require any vehicle or combination of vehicles to proceed to a mass-meter or mass-measuring device, and if the mass of any vehicle or combination of vehicles exceeds the mass allowed in terms of this Act, prohibit the operation of the vehicle or combination of vehicles on a public road until the mass has been reduced or adjusted to comply with this Act: Provided that where the load on a vehicle includes any hazardous substance as contemplated in the Hazardous Substances Act, 1973 (Act 15 of 1973), the reduction and handling of the mass shall be undertaken in terms of that Act;
There is NO condition in these powers as to the maximum distance (or length of journey) relating to the direction to weigh. This would be for practical reasons.
In most cases the vehicle would have been subjected to some version of screening process (which in most cases is not more than 2km away for control more than for concern over distance from multi-deck scales).
The circumstance is clear – the provision is to “ascertain such mass” – so the officer can direct any vehicle whether “overloaded or not”.
Technical & Operations Manager
Road Freight Association