What you need to know about the road traffic demerit system and how to avoid accumulating points
The Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (Aarto) Bill was recently signed into law by President Cyril Ramaphosa. This legislation has been designed to change driving behaviour through the implementation of a demerit system in Johannesburg and Tshwane. WesBank unpacks how this new law aims to make roads safer by removing habitual traffic offenders from South Africa’s roads and highways and provides some advice on how you can avoid accumulating points.
How does the point system work?
Each driver will start off on a clean slate with zero points. The maximum permissible number of points is 12. Points work on an accumulative basis with a different number of points assigned to specific traffic infringements, together with a fine. If you accumulate 12 or more points your licence will be suspended for a period of three months.
One point is reduced every three months if no further violations occur within the three-month period, but should you exceed three suspensions you could permanently lose your licence. A licence can be cancelled if it has been suspended for the third time.
What are the points allocated to?
These are some of the traffic offences that could increase your demerit points:
The new demerit points system is similar to what is already in use in several European countries and has been adapted for South African road users. A driver/operator who is disqualified for the third time will permanently lose the license/operator card and will have to reapply for testing, as if they were a first-time license/operator applicant. The new system will also prevent you from renewing your drivers and/or vehicle licence if you do not pay your traffic fines.
How can you avoid accumulating points?