Road Transport Management System [RTMS] and Road Safety

Road Transport Management System [RTMS] and Road SafetyIntroduction

South Africans have experienced a significant increase in the transportation of goods on our road network. The rail industry is facing several challenges, thereby increasing the demand on logistics companies for the transportation of road freight.

All stakeholders in the road logistics value chain are aware of the problems concerning road logistics that affect their industries. The road infrastructure is deteriorating rapidly due to overloading and poor maintenance. Furthermore, the large number of accidents attributed to heavy trucks is unacceptable.

Both road safety and road infrastructure are public concerns subject to strict regulation by governments, particularly when abused. Overregulation, road deterioration and high accident rates pose a significant threat to the long term sustainability and global competitiveness of the road logistics value chain.

Transport authorities have recognised that we cannot only rely on traffic enforcement to keep our roads and all our road users safe! The Government's National Development Plan has identified Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) as being essential in helping to deliver safer roads.

The ability of Government to reduce the road accident toll depends also on building up local partnerships networks, ensuring quality planning and implementation of road safety interventions, including monitoring and evaluation of implemented strategies

Public private partnerships provide opportunities for businesses to participate in enhancing road safety and to share their vision and expertise in a variety of road safety strategies.

Definition of RTMS


Definition of RTMS

RTMS is an industry-led, voluntary self-regulation scheme that encourages consignees, consignors and transport operators engaged in the road logistics value chain to implement a management system (a set of standards - SANS 10399:2012) with outcomes that contribute to preserving road infrastructure, improving road safety & increasing productivity.

This scheme also supports the Department of Transport’s National Freight Logistics Strategy.

Users of road haulage (consignors and consignees) and providers of road haulage (hauliers) have jointly developed strategies aimed at protecting the road network, improving road safety and transport productivity for the benefit of the country’s citizens and the industry itself.

The industry also recognises that poor compliance to transport regulations creates an unfair competitive environment. It is, therefore, felt that a self-regulation scheme is required to create standard rules for the industry and that these rules should become the “business norm” – supporting principles of good corporate governance. It is for this reason that industry is leading this initiative, to ensure its quick adoption by all businesses participating in the road logistics value chain.

Furthermore, industry recognises its critical role in the economy’s growth. Efficient movement of goods between a country’s centres of production and its shipping ports boosts competitiveness in international markets. RTMS is one of the innovative and pro-active initiatives that will make this possible.

The reality of Overloading in the Freight Industry

  • Heavy vehicles play an important role in the economy, and are expected to remain a common sight on our roads in the foreseeable future.
  • The relative damage to the road caused by any heavy vehicle axle load can be related to the damage caused by a standard 80 kN axle load. This relation is exponential, in that an axle carrying double the legal load may cause from four to sixty times as much damage as one legal load.
  • Road pavement structures are designed to carry a given number of standard axle load repetitions. Overloading reduces the design life of these structures.
  • Overloaded vehicles are estimated to be responsible for R400 million of unnecessary road damage per annum.
  • Transport operators can play an important role in selecting “road structure friendly” vehicles. Improved liaison and communication must be developed between road engineers and transport operations managers.
  • The overloaded heavy vehicle is a traffic hazard especially regarding the vehicle’s braking system and the additional braking distance involved. This situation is further aggravated by steep downhill slopes and sharp curves in the road. Traffic accidents caused directly or indirectly by overloaded heavy vehicles are normally not included when the total cost to the country, caused by overloading, is calculated.
  • All persons involved in the road transportation of goods, road pavement design and law enforcement should be made aware of the multifaceted impacts of road freight transport and overloading.
  • Operators that continually overload their heavy vehicles affect the ability of operators that do not overload to compete on equal terms in the transport market [Compiled by: CSIR, Roads and Transport Technology]


What are the Key Focus areas of RTMS in the Freight Industry?


What are the Key Focus areas of RTMS in the Freight Industry?

  • Overloading
  • Speeding
  • Vehicle maintenance
  • Driver hours
  • Reckless driving
  • False licenses (vehicles & drivers)
  • Load securement
  • Bribery & corruption


RTMC and Bus Operators


RTMC and Bus Operators

RTMS not only applies to the transportation of goods but also to passenger transport by our bus companies.

“This standard is intended for all bus and coach operators. It is applicable to all types of operations including tourists, inter -city, urban and rural commuter, school, cross border, organised parties and other dedicated services – all sizes of operations”. Ref: SANS 10399-2012

Role players to consider include:

  • Government shareholders
  • General public
  • Passengers and other road users

It is important to recognize the focus of RTMS in addressing amongst bus operators the following:

  • Passenger optimisation
  • Driver wellness
  • Vehicle maintenance
  • Productivity

– Quality management of the operator processes

– Quality of the operator product


The RTMS Heavy Vehicle Management System


The RTMS Heavy Vehicle Management System

It is envisaged that the National Heavy Vehicle Management System will have standards on:


  • Weight assessment systems
  • Load optimisation and monitoring at consignee, consignor and transport operators
  • Load securement

Driver Wellness

  • Working conditions
  • Social Health issues (especially HIV and Aids)

Vehicle Operations

  • Vehicle maintenance
  • Training standards for operators (NQF)
  • Advanced continuing training in Driving, Vehicle operations and safety, Fleet management, Specialised vehicles


  • Data confidential to participants unless otherwise agreed (without prejudice)
  • Encourage broader participation at an industry level - measurement allows industry to put pressure on non-complaint transport operators;
  • Direction may be determined by National Standard requirements
  • Use the data for value addition and research

Components of RTMS


Components of RTMS

It is envisaged that RTMS will offer support for the implementation of the following components:

National Standards

  • Reviewed regularly and in line with latest technology and legislation


  • Recognised by SANAS


  • Manuals
  • Templates
  • Implementation guidelines

Information portals

  • Website for information dissemination
  • Data sharing among participants
  • E-reporting facility

Recognition and Concessions

  • Recognition for participants
  • Agreements with various partners on concessions for RTMS certified companies


  • Brand promotion to create meaningful recognition among public and industry stakeholders - branding allows certified operators to be recognised by road authorities, customers and the public.

Special projects

  • Coordination projects that are selected by the RTMS stakeholders and are aligned to RTMS objectives

Research and technology

  • A new programme aimed at research and technology innovation.

What gives the RTMS credibility and value?

–Stringent adherence to:

  • Legal payloads
  • Speeding
  • Driving hours
  • Maintenance practices
  • Documentation Control
  • Training and education
  • Risk assessment

What are the RTMS Standards?

1.            The National RTMS committee has compiled a five year strategy document, detailing the long term vision and goals of RTMS. This document can be downloaded at: Road Transport Management System

2.            The following documentation pertains to transport operators, consignors and consignees:

  • ARP 067-1:2007 (Road Transport Management Systems Part 1: Operator Requirements – Goods)
  • ARP 067-2:2008 (Road Transport Management Systems Part 2: Consignor Requirements – Goods)
  • ARP 067-3:2008 (Road Transport Management Systems Part 3: Consignee Requirements – Goods)

These documents can be purchased at a nominal fee from Standards South Africa:

Tel: 012 428-6883



Benefits of RTMC as experienced by Logistics Company Barloworld

  • Formal framework for all existing operational and technical protocols

Areas where improvements have been seen:

  • LTIFR – reduced from 2008 (4.9) to 2012 (0.3)
  • Driving hours – 0.58% (all not at risk)
  • Maintenance practices – 100% compliance
  • Risk assessment – internal risk audit score over 90%
  • Being self-regulating has been well received by current and potential customers

Contracts have been awarded to BWL because of good internal risk and operational protocols and RTMS helped to bring this together.

Post RTMS accreditations have been obtained for the transportation of explosives and chemicals. The RTMS framework covers over 80% of these audit requirements.

The benefits are starting to come through in cost saving in all areas of our daily operations

Transport operators who invest in becoming RTMS accredited are recognised for their commitment to responsible business through a series of concessions.

Current RTMS Status [June 2013]

  • RTMS ARP’s have been converted to a SABS standard (SANS 1395)
  • SANS 1395 is closely aligned to ISO 39001
  • RTMS section 21 company will be registered shortly
  • Additional auditors will be accredited through SANAS
  • RTMS boards will be changed on an annual basis and will reflect the year in the back – ground
  • Back office will be set up during 2013
  • 5 RTMS workshops planned for 2013
  • Special workshop to be held for the bus industry
  • Currently over 11,000 vehicles fall under RTMS (In 2007 when RTMS started 74 vehicles were accredited)
  • SADC Cross – border RTMS project will be run shortly in conjunction with South Africa, Zimbabwe and Zambia. On a portion of the North – South corridor


On-going accreditation is subject to the successful completion of annual surveillance audits, which is why it's imperative that an operator implements RTMS in a sustainable manner. This also ensured the commitment of operators to continually achieve the objectives of improved road safety, the reduction of road crashes, optimised payload efficiency, maintenance of roadworthy vehicles and improved driver wellness and training.

RTMS certified operators have dedicated plans in place to focus on any areas of concern which will ensure continual improvements and enable them to maintain the highest standards in the industry for continued compliance.

RTMS Contact Details



Paul Nordengen :

012 841 3945

Adrian Van Tonder:

011 445 1759

For RTMS Certification and Information about the audits, contact Oliver Naidoo:

082 577 8494

Download the Presentation

Road Transport Management System and Road Safety

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Road Transport Management System (RTMS): Making Trucking Safer

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