President Cyril Ramaphosa has signed the controversial Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (AARTO) Bill into law on Tuesday 13 August 2019.
After two decades of processing, the AARTO ACT is now officially signed into law, promising to remove habitual traffic offenders from South Africa’s roads and highways through a stringent demerit system.
How does the system work?
The new point system will have each driver starting off with zero points, with the highest number set at 12 points. These points will work on a cumulative basis, with a different number of points for each traffic violation.
If the points amount to 12 or more, the driver’s licence will be suspended for a period of three months. One point is reduced every three months if no further violations occur. But should motorists exceed three suspensions, they run the risk of permanently losing their licence, as it can be cancelled if it has been suspended for a third time.
A driver/operator who is disqualified for the third time will permanently lose the licence/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.
What are the traffic offences that would add to your demerit points?
From the lowest to highest allocation of points:
• using and holding cell phone while driving will be one demerit point.
• skipping a stop sign (light vehicles) is one demerit point, and for buses and trucks it is two points.
• speeding can be anywhere from two to six points, depending on the speed limit (determined by court).
• driving without a licence equals four demerit points.
• driving under the influence of an intoxicating substance will be six demerit points (determined by court).
How to make the AARTO’s new demerit system work for you?
- obey the rules of the road
- never driver an un-roadworthy vehicle
- ensure your vehicle(s) is clearly placarded (for dangerous goods vehicle)
- complete thorough pre and post-trip inspections
- bring defaults to the attention of your supervisors without delay
- report any overloading
- make the driver accountable for the demerit points
- company proxies should manage their infringements processes to avoid licence suspension, that may halt operations
- response to all infringements notices within 32 days
Demerit system for fleet owners
NOSA Logistics’ AARTO workshops are designed to impart the knowledge of what AARTO is and how it works to all people in your company who hold driving licenses and these workshops deal with a lot more than just AARTO. They also deal with other issues relating to traffic law and driver behaviour and aim to impart a greater understanding of both, your rights and your responsibilities as a holder of a driving licence.