South Africa is looking to introduce new speed limits

The Department of Transport and the Road Traffic Management Corporation are reviewing South Africa’s current speed limits.

Speaking to the Weekend Argus, Department of Transport spokesperson Ayanda Allie-Paine said the proposal could see the baseline top speeds across the country’s roads reduced by 20km/h.

This would effectively drop the speed limit on the country’s highways from 120km/h to 100km/h, while the top speeds on main roads would drop from 100km/h to 80km/h.

Speeds in residential areas would decrease from 60km/h to 40km/h.

“Our road safety strategy has considered all these factors. Legislation is being reviewed to address and bring in place an edifice of various interventions to respond adequately to the challenge that South Africa is facing,” Allie-Paine said.

“Among these, a review of the international best practice on speed reductions, as is the case in countries such as Sweden and Australia.

“Due to the unique situation in South Africa, these cannot just be implemented without an impact assessment study,” she said.

Demerit system 

The proposed review of speed limits comes after President Cyril Ramaphosa signed the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (Aarto) Act into law in August 2019 – introducing a new demerit system for South African drivers.

However, not all infringements will carry demerit-points with roughly half of the infringements contemplated in schedule 3 of the Aarto regulations carrying no demerit points at all.

While the points and fines will likely change as the system prepares for a national roll-out, the tables below give an overview of how the points may be allocated as currently set out by the Road Traffic Infringement Agency (RTIA):

Infringement Fine amount Demerit points
Licences and miscellaneous
Driving an unregistered vehicle R500 1
Driving an unlicensed vehicle R500 1
Driving a vehicle with licence plate not visible R500 1
Driving without a driving licence R1 250 4
Driving without a seat belt R250 0
Driving under influence of intoxicating substance Determined by court 6
Driving while holding and using a cellphone R500 1
Failing to stop
Skipping a stop sign (light vehicles) R500 1
Skipping a stop sign (buses, trucks) R750 2
Skipping a red light (light vehicles) R500 1
Skipping a red light (buses, trucks) R750 2
Failing to yield to a pedestrian R500 1
Overtaking and overloading
Overtaking across a barrier line (light vehicles) R500 1
Overtaking across a barrier line (buses, trucks) R750 2
Overloading a vehicle with max 56,000kg combination mass by 12-13.99% R1 500 5
Speeding
81-85km/h in a 60km/h zone R750 2
100km/h+ in a 60km/h zone Determined by court 6
106-110km/h in an 80km/h zone R1 000 3
120km/h+ in an 80km/h zone Determined by court 6
121-125km/h in a 100km/h zone R750 2
131-135km/h in a 100km/h zone R1 250 4
140km/h+ in a 100km/h zone Determined by court 6
131-135km/h in a 120km/h zone R250 0
141-145km/h in a 120km/h zone R750 2
151-155km/h in a 120km/h zone R1 250 4
160km/h+ in a 120km/h zone Determined by court 6

Read: New plan to get South Africans to use trains instead of cars

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South Africa is looking to introduce new speed limits