Licence demerit system may launch in 2016 – here’s what you need to know

South Africa’s driver demerit system will be launched in April 2016, according to a report by Wheels24.

According to the report, the system was signed into law in September 1998 as part of the AARTO Act.

The system, which is based on ones used in Australia and the UK, has been delayed since then due to “a feasibility study, an assessment of technological requirements, and an analysis of human resources”.

The demerit system will penalise South African drivers who break the law, which could result in their driver’s licence being suspended or revoked.

The AARTO system will be managed by the Road Traffic Infringement Agency. It will oversee the demerit system – which works as follows:

  • A driver starts with zero points.
  • Demerit points are allocated according to offences committed.
  • Points are allocated on the date a fine is paid or when the person is convicted of the offence.
  • Operators receive points separately from their drivers.
  • When you reach 13 points or more, your licence is suspended with effect from 32 days after the maximum points were reached.
  • The suspension period is calculated in months equal to the number of points exceeding 12, multiplied by three.
  • The driver may apply for the return of the licence after the suspension.
  • A driver who is disqualified three times will lose their licence and will have to take their driver’s test again.
  • Demerit points will be reduced at a rate of one point per every three months.

Demerit system – points allocation

The table below details how many points a driver will lose per offence, as per the Road Traffic Infringement Agency’s regulations.

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
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 1,250 4
160km/h+ in a 120km/h zone Determined by court 6

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Licence demerit system may launch in 2016 – here’s what you need to know