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Sunday / 11 April 2021
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Prepare now for South Africa’s new driving laws

Motorist must start preparing for South Africa’s new driving laws, which are set to be implemented on 1 July 2021.

This is according to a report by BusinessTech, which looked at the upcoming “controversial” Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (Aarto) Amendment Act.

The report quoted advice from the Road Safety Partnership (RSP), which stated that the Aarto Act will see a points system put in place for local drivers.

Each time a driving offence is committed, a driver will receive a set number of demerit points. If they repeatedly commit offences and receive a certain number of demerit points, they will be disqualified from driving.

A breakdown of the points system is below.

  • Total points: A maximum of 15 demerit points can be received by a driver. After this, they will be disqualified from driving their vehicle.
  • Duration: The duration of the disqualification will equal three months for every point over the 15-point limit.

“If demerit points are allocated to a person or vehicle record and no further demerit points are accrued in three months after receiving the previous demerit point, a reduction of one point on the total number of demerit points will be recorded on the system,” stated the report.

If a driver receives three disqualifications under the new system, their licence will be cancelled.

They will then be required to apply for a learner’s licence, and then a driver’s licence, once their disqualification period is over.

It is important to note that “only the driver/juristic person is held responsible for the use of the vehicle”, and that vehicles are “not punished by the system”, it added.

Prepare now

The RSP stated that both individuals and businesses must prepare now for the new driving laws.

This includes getting to know the Aarto Act, which offences warrant demerit points, and how they will deal with drivers who have their licences suspended.

“If [motorists] take action now and change their own bad driving behaviours, Aarto can only have a limited impact on one, if any impact at all,” said the RSP.

“It is habitual non-compliance that will allow Aarto to affect drivers. Critically address any non-compliance, even before the act comes into effect, and it will substantially limit the potential effect that Aarto can have.”

Demerit points

Infringement Fine Demerit Points
Failure to comply and licences
Failure to stop vehicle on the command of a traffic officer N/A 6
Failure to comply with the direction of a police officer who is directing traffic R2 000 3
Operated a vehicle on a public road with expired licence R2 000 3
Operated a vehicle on a public road without a licence R2 000 3
Driving a vehicle with a learner’s licence with no licensed driver in the car R3 500 5
Roadworthiness and lights
Removed or altered components of vehicle affecting its roadworthiness R3 500 5
Operated a vehicle with a brake that is not in good working order R3 500 5
Operated a vehicle with a damaged lamp (light) R1 000 1
Operated a vehicle between sunset and sunrise or during unfavourable visibility conditions without lamps R1 500 2
Stop lamp (light) not emitting a red light when in use R1 000 1
Seatbelts 
Driver did not ensure that all passengers were wearing seatbelts R1 500 1
Vehicle not fitted with seatbelts correctly R1 000 1
Seatbelts not working properly R500 1
Traffic signs and speed limits
Failed to obey stop sign R1 500 2
Failed to obey yield sign R1 000 1
Failed to obey directions at a four-way stop sign R1 500 2
Failed to comply with directions of a road traffic sign by not maintaining or exceeding the specified speed limit R1 000 1
Failed to comply with directions of a road traffic sign by not passing on the left-hand side R500 1

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