How the new South African drivers demerit system could affect you


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The Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Transport has officially accepted the final amendments to the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Bill (Aarto) with changes that could drastically alter driving in South Africa. The new bill will go on to the National Assembly for concurrence and while this may take some time, the new system will eventually be signed in and become part of our national law.

The biggest changes in the new bill will include the following:

  1. A new demerit system with one-six points allocated for offences. If an infringer has more than 12 demerit points, it could result in the complete disqualification of the offender’s driving license
  2. Failing to pay traffic fines will block offenders from obtaining driving and vehicle licenses
  3. Authorities will now serve documents via email and send reminders via WhatsApp or SMS
  4. The option for offenders to appear in court to challenge the prosecution has been removed.

The new system is will issue fines and demerits in cases of invalid licenses, malicious behaviour, failing to stop, overtaking, overloading, and speeding. Offenders will be served with a fine as well as demerit points which may lead to a complete disqualification of their driving licenses.

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