Declassification of Double Cabin Pick-ups as Commercial Vehicles

Not too long ago, driving a double cab pick-up meant you had to take the good with the bad. The good; you could carry a family and a bag of potatoes from up-country all at the same time.

The downside, by law, you were expected to drive at no more than 80kph and do the annual inspection, like any other commercial vehicle.

The Act

Relief came in the form of Legal Notice No. 180 of 31st December 2014 which “de-classified” Double Cabin Pick-ups as non-commercial vehicles.

Legal Notice No. 180 of 31st December 2014

THE TRAFFIC ACT
(Cap.403)
DECLARATION

 IN EXERCISE of the powers conferred by section 2 of the Traffic Act, the National Transport and Safety Authority declares the type of motor vehicle described in the Schedule not to be a commercial vehicle, for the purposes of the Act.

SCHEDULE
Double Cabin Pick-up
Dated the 18th December 2014.

Under the Traffic Act, a commercial vehicle is defined as a motor vehicle constructed or adapted for the carriage of goods or burdens associated with any trade, business or agriculture unless otherwise declared by the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) vide a Gazette notice not to be a Commercial Vehicle.

If a motor vehicle is not classified to be a commercial vehicle for the purposes of the Act, It means that all the provisions of the law and in the Act relating to commercial vehicles do not apply to the Motor Vehicle declassified.

What the Act say about commercial Vehicles
  • Commercial vehicles require to be licensed every year and must be inspected before a license is issued.
  • Commercial vehicles are required to be fitted with safety reflectors.
  • Speed limit for commercial vehicles is 80kph and must be affixed on the rear of the motor vehicle.
  • Name and address of owner, tare weight and maximum load capacity must be marked.
Some grey legal questions:
  1. Since double cabin pick-ups were de-classified as commercial vehicles, do they currently stand unclassified under section 4 of the Act?
    In our view, the are unclassified, thus are not motorcars as defined. However, in our evaluation, the intention was to declassify only as commercial motor vehicles.
  1. Are they therefore unregulated?(other than as general motor vehicles which classification is not specified)
    In view of the forgoing, they should be regulated as general motor vehicles as motorcars.
  1. What is the speed limit applicable to them?
    They are not motor cars and not commercial therefore no limitation.

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