Happy Friday, everyone.
I thought I’d remind you that it’s almost the weekend, before going into some new legislation recently signed into law by President Ramaphosa.
A bill was proposed a while back, amidst a fair amount of controversy, called the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (Aarto) Bill.
You might remember it as the bill that wanted to introduce a demerit system for SA drivers.
As we pointed out earlier this week, bills take a long time to pass, so a lot has happened since it was first proposed.
Here’s BusinessTech with some of the biggest changes that the new law will make to road traffic laws:
- A new demerit system will be introduced. Depending on the severity of the offence, 1-6 points are allocated for offences. If an infringer has more than 12 points, it will result in the disqualification of the driving licence and three suspensions result in its cancellation;
- Failing to pay traffic fines can lead to a block on obtaining driving and vehicle licences and an administrative fee – in addition to other penalties;
- Where documents previously had to be delivered by registered mail through the post office, in terms of the amendment, authorities will now also be able to serve documents electronically and can send reminders via WhatsApp and SMS;
- The establishment of a new Appeals Tribunal which will preside over issues that are raised under the new bill.
The specific date of implementation hasn’t been released yet, but you shouldn’t be driving like a doos anyway.
Before Ramaphosa’s signature was attached, the legislation saw a fair bit of controversy.
In June, the Automobile Association penned an open letter to new transport minister, Fikile Mbalula, pointing to a number of areas that need urgent attention – including the new demerit system.
…The association said that law enforcement on the country’s roads remains splintered, uncoordinated, and largely ineffective.
“Proper, effective licensing of prospective drivers, a more comprehensive approach to rooting out corruption and bribery at vehicle testing centres, and better application of vehicle roadworthiness is a start,” it said.
“Speeding, cellphone usage while driving, reckless and negligent road behaviour, and disregarding other drivers, are among the main problems.
They went on to note that these critical problems appear to be “less important” than “checking for disks”.
So, ja. You should probably start exercising some caution on your way home from work today, as we all know how aggro everyone gets in that Friday traffic.
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