You could soon get traffic fines via WhatsApp, email or SMS

The Department of Transport has gazetted the latest draft of the administrative adjudication of road traffic offences (Aarto) regulations, detailing how the country’s new demerit system will work.

The draft regulations, which are currently open for public comment, also prescribes how infringement notices or fines will be served on motorists.

Where documents previously had to be delivered by registered mail through the post office, in terms of the amendment, authorities will now also be able to serve documents electronically. This includes possible reminders via WhatsApp and SMS.

While the latest bill still provides for service of infringement notices through mail or in person, it allows authorities to send electronic notice, using driver data taken from various sources.

This includes information collected from:

  • Previous Aarto documentation;
  • On the change of address forms for licensed motor vehicles;
  • As indicated in the register of driving licences and/or the register of motor vehicles;
  • By registering on the Aarto website.

The Aarto Act provides for a system whereby a person, operator or company (juristic person) pays the penalty and incur points when a traffic infringement is committed.

The demerit points are allocated to the operators and owners of motor vehicles. If a vehicle is suspended it may not be sold or used on a public road.

If an operator or juristic person does sell a vehicle or scrap or export such vehicle, the demerit points will remain against the record of the operator/juristic person and be allocated to the next vehicle the company purchases.

However, vehicles are not punished by the system – only the driver/juristic person is held responsible for the use of its vehicle.

The points will work as follows:

  • The offender/infringer receives a penalty, and in addition to the penalty, they also receive the demerit points allocated to the specific offence.
  • If the demerit points exceed the maximum points (15 points), a person will be disqualified from driving or using the vehicle for a period of time (three months for every point exceeding 15 points);
  • The points for the offences and infringements range between six and one;
  • The maximum for a person or operator card or a licence disc for a juristic person who is not an operator is 15 points;
  • The maximum for a learner driver is six points;
  • The time value of each point is three months for disqualification or reduction purposes;
  • 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.
  • A person’s driving licence card and the operator card of a motor vehicle must be handed in for the disqualification period;
  • Upon a third disqualification, the licences will be cancelled. A person must apply for a new learner’s licence and driving licence once the disqualification period is over.

Read: You could be forced to pay an extra R100 every time you get a fine in South Africa

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You could soon get traffic fines via WhatsApp, email or SMS