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Benefit Scheme for Road Acccidents on the Cards

July 11, 2014

Department of Transport

Stakeholders have an additional three months to comment on the Draft Road Accident Benefit Scheme Bill as well as the accompanying draft regulations and rules.

They were published for comment in May 2014.

The extension notices were published in Government Gazette 37812.

The draft bill aims to provide a social security scheme for the victims of road accidents.

A Road Accident Benefit Scheme Administrator will be set up to implement and run the scheme.

The proposed legislation also aims to provide a set of defined benefits on a no-fault basis for injury or death arising from car accidents.

Some of the challenges the draft bill intends addressing include the introduction of a no-fault approach to compensation in response to problems identified with the current fault-based approach.

The adoption of a no-fault basis will also help to expand and improve access to benefits.

The transport department wants the bill to improve and simplify claims procedures.

The duties and powers of the envisaged Road Accident Benefit Scheme Administrator are laid down.

The bill will remove the possibility of civil action for damages in respect of injury or death arising from road accidents to be instituted against the owner or driver of a vehicle as well as the employer of the driver.

However, civil claims would still be able to be pursued for any accidents occurring prior to the enactment of the Road Accident Benefit Scheme Act.

The proposed legislation lists the benefits that will fall under its scope:

• Health care services
• Income support
• Family support
• Funeral

Conditions under which benefits can be ended are outlined.

The procedure for claiming benefits is set down as well as the obligations of the claimant and beneficiary.

The administrator will have six months in which to accept or reject a claim. If it is accepted, payment must be made to the claimant within 30 days of his or her notification of the acceptance.

Comments on the draft bill, regulations and rules are now invited within 90 days of the date of publication of the extension notices.