5 things to know about the demerit system

THE new bill expected to introduce a demerit system will see serial traffic offenders losing their driver’s licences. It’s been given the thumbs-up by the National Assembly and was introduced to Parliament to amend the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Act of 1998.

Transport Minister Joe Maswanganyi said the Bill was aimed at improving driver behaviour at the back of an alarming increase of carnage on South Africa’s roads.

5 things you need to know about how it works

1. The demerit points system has been introduced to penalise drivers and operators who are habitual offenders. However, it also rewards law-abiding road users, as it reduces 1 point every three months down to zero demerit points if no contraventions occur.

2. Every person starts with 0 points with the maximum permissible number of points is 12. A person is allowed to drive until he/she has 12 points.

3. Every point exceeding 12 points results in a three-month suspension of the licence.

4. If you are driving during your disqualification period, you are liable on conviction to a fine or imprisonment for a period not exceeding one (1) year or to both a fine and imprisonment.

5. “If you elect to go to court under AARTO, demerit points are only recorded when you are found guilty. If you appeal against a conviction by the court for an offence no demerit points are recorded unless of course the appeal is rejected or abandoned. Nothing prevents you from approaching a court to appeal or review the total amount of demerit points recorded against your name,” Aarto said.

Here is how you can be prosecuted under the new demerit system:

Infographic: Bosveld Review


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Shiraz Habbib

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