Here’s what you should know about the new Demerit points system to roll out on 1 July 2021


iBusiness reported the new Demerit points system which will be introduced as the new Aarto Act to roll out nationally on 1 July 2021. The new information about the new system has been gazetted by the Minister of Transport, Mr Fikile Mbalula, laying out the Aarto regulations and the introduction of the driving demerit system in South Africa.

The demerit points will consist of 3 phases, these phases will gradually introduce the implications of the system to South African drivers. Included in the Explanatory Memorandums which have no legal effect but are meant to assist the members of the public in understanding the draft AARTO regulations and Schedule 3 on the demerit point and penalties and are for information purposes only as explained in the gazette.

The 540-page directive has stated in bold that the new Aarto Act, the demerit points system will roll out nationally on 1 July 2021. The new Aarto Act is said to have a huge impact on the economy and social wellbeing of the road users in South Africa.

Aarto: Phase 1

What will phase one allow for demerit points?

  • Speeding
  • Dangerous overtaking
  • Hazardous driving behavior
  •  Failure to stop at traffic lights
  • Failure to stop at stop signs
  • Disobeying road signs
  • Roadworthy offences
  • Faulty brakes, lamps, hooters, etc.
  • Failure to drive with a valid driving license
  • Failure to have a roadworthy certificate for the vehicle
  • failure to drive with a valid professional driving permit

Aarto: Phase 2

  • After the evaluation of the effect of the allocation of demerit point by Road Traffic Infringement Agency (RTIA) has been done, Phase 2 will be introduced.
  • The one thing you have to understand is that Demerit Points are only allocated to offences and infringements of economic significance since the system is set to have a big impact on the economy.
  • In phase two, demerit points will also be allocated to vehicles that do not comply with requirements for maximum dimensions and projections.
  • If you have failed to pay your licence fees you will also fall in the list of offences and infringements, and you will be allocated demerit points.

Aarto: Phase 3

  • The 3rd and ultimate phase will be added to the offences and infringements list relevant to the failure to update your address and the owner’s important and relevant information, include information of operators, drivers, cross-border road transport permit, and operating licences.
  • According to the gazetted information: ‘Driving without a driving licence and operating a motor vehicle without it being registered and licences are classified as offences. This principle also applies to failure to have an operator card, cross-border road transport permit or operating licence.’

Demerit Points

Whenever a traffic offence has been committed, the offender will pay the penalty and incur points, according to the new Aarto Act which is to roll out nationally in 2021. The points will be allocated to drivers and operators.

Suspended vehicle may not be sold or used on a public road. Should the owner sell the vehicle, the demerit points will remain against the record of the offender and be allocated to the next vehicle that’s newly purchased.

It is important to note that vehicles are not allocated points but rather the driver is held responsible.

  1. The owner will receive a penalty and allocated demerit points
  2. If you exceed the maximum of 15 points, you will no longer be allowed to drive for a period of time, thus you will be suspended from driving for every point exceeding 15 points.
  3. Some points maybe worth 3 points of offense/infringement, some 1 point, but they range between 1 to 6 points for every offense.
  4. Offenses made using a learner driver is 6 points
  5. Using an operator card or a license disc for a juristic person who is not an operator has a maximum level of 15 points.
  6. A 3rd disqualification will get your learner’s drivers/driving license canceled, and an offender will have to re-apply when the disqualification period elapses.

Juristic Person

The term ‘juristic person’ refers to companies with vehicles licensed in the juristic person’s name but do not require operator cards, this was added to the Aarto Act.

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