Minister of Transport, Joe Maswanganyi has welcomed the passing of the new Aarto bill and the upcoming introduction of the new demerit system.
Addressing parliament on Wednesday, Maswanganyi said that the demerit point system will provide for an easy and objective mechanism of identifying habitual infringers so that the applicable penalties can be imposed.
“Those that continue to break the laws will find themselves ultimately losing their driving licences through suspensions and cancellations of their drivers licenses,” Maswanganyi said.
“We must remember that a driving licence always belongs to the government and everyone that wants to exercise this benefit, must comply with the conditions related there.”
Maswanganyi also emphasised that Aarto does not only provide for a punitive measures but also provides for rehabilitation of drivers that might have lost their driver’s licences.
“Drivers can redeem themselves through the rehabilitation programmes. In this way, we can influence those drivers to change their behaviour to easy compliance with road traffic laws,” he said.
Maswanganyi also indicated that the new bill would make dealing with infringements much easier as they will now appear before a dedicated appeals tribunal.
The tribunal will eliminate the backlog and burden of dealing with infringements through the courts. This will eliminate the burden and bottle-necks from the Criminal justice system, he said.
“The act makes provision for the electronic service of documents, which will make it easier for all road users to be informed of the status of their infringers. The electronic service of documents will further have low cost benefits to the state and the road user,” said Maswanganyi.
The minister further said that the act will provide the assurance to all South Africans, that their lives matter, and that it is about increasing road safety.