The Railway Safety Regulator Act (16 of 2002)
This Act is a relatively simple and enabling piece of legislation containing principles of good governance and making provision for regulations to be developed as and when required.
The objective of the Act
The key objective of the Railway Safety Regulator Act is to establish a Railway Safety Regulator, independent from the railway industry, which has appropriate legislative power, enforcement capability and human resource capacity to oversee railway safety. The Railway Safety Regulator has the power to enforce and improve the level of operational safety.
Powers of the Railway Safety Regulator
The Regulator is empowered to take a number of actions, including:
- Receiving railway occurrence (accident and incident) reports from railway operators;
- Conducting audits, inspections and railway occurrence investigations;
- Analysis of occurrence reports prepared by operators;
- Analysis of annual operators' safety plans according to the requirements of the Safety Management System regulations;
- Analysis of performance indicators and information relating to occurrences that is submitted on a quarterly basis;
- Where an unsafe condition, operation or activity is identified, the regulator is empowered to issue notices on the operator to improve, or to limit or cease the activity;
- Benchmarking of operators' safety performance within South Africa and comparable operations internationally;
- Making of regulations - the Act provides for regulations to be developed on any matter that will improve safety and
- Regular review of standards, which include technical standards and operating rules.