The last time we checked in on the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (Aarto) Act, complete with its demerit system, it was set to be implemented in June this year.
To be fair, no one saw the pandemic coming, and there wasn’t much use for new traffic laws when hardly any of us were on the roads during the lockdown.
At the same time, this sort of thing is rarely delivered on time, even when we don’t have COVID-19 to deal with.
Well, finally, it looks like it’s go time.
Transport minister Fikile Mbalula has gazetted the latest draft of Aarto, all 540 pages of it, which says that the demerit system will be introduced in three phases so that we don’t all panic.
There’s a bit of wiggle room to get used to things, but don’t test your luck. Chances are we won’t know when the phases are changing, and the communication between law enforcement and the government is notoriously terrible.
MyBroadband breaks down the phases:
Here’s how it’s all going to work.
You’ll receive a penalty for breaking the law, and in addition to this, demerit points. The number of demerit points depends on the infringement. The penalty will take the form of a fine.
By way of example, if you fail to stop when a traffic officer indicates that you should do so, you’ll be hit with six demerit points. If you fail to obey a ‘yield sign’ you’ll get one demerit point and a R1 000 fine. Skip a stop sign and it’s two demerit points and R1 500.
If you rack up more than the maximum of 15 points you will not be allowed to drive or use your vehicle for three months for every point exceeding the 15 points.
If you’re a learner driver, you’re allowed a maximum of only six points.
You’ll have to hand your licence over while you’re banned from driving.
If you mess up and exceed the limit more than three times, your licence will be cancelled. You’ll then have to apply for a new one.
You can head on over to BusinessTech for a table that lists all of the offences that will earn you points.
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