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The Driver Demerit System Explained

Question:

Is the driver demerit system already in operation, and if so, please provide some details?

Answer:

The demerit system derives from the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Act, alternatively known as the AARTO Act, in particular Section 24 and Regulation 24.

The demerit operates as follows: the infringer who is fined in terms of the abovementioned piece of legislation. The point system will work hand in hand with the penalty issued in terms of the infringement. The road user will have a maximum of 12 penalty points available to him/her. Should the road user exceed the 12 points, his/her driverís license will be suspended for a period of three (3) months for every point exceeding 12. The points range from 0 Ė 6 and will depend on the seriousness of the alleged offence.

Where there are a fleet of vehicles, the maximum number is calculated according the maximum number of vehicles. It is advisable that juristic persons, that is, companies, close corporations, etc. will not accrue penalty points, however will receive a penalty three times that of the original fine. Note further, the only legal persons who will incur demerit points are the operators. When the road user has his/her driverís license suspended, he/she will have to hand in their driverís license until the suspension has been uplifted. Further note that upon the third suspension, the driverís license will accordingly be cancelled.

The above are the basic application principles of the demerit point system, however note that the AARTO Act has only been implemented in the Gauteng province and not nationally. That being said, the demerit system will only come into effect when this legislation has been effected nationally.

The efficacy of the point system will have to be published in the Government Gazette and Members are invited to contact the AA's Legal Department periodically to ascertain same.

Telephone 083 843 22 (select option 5, then option 3)
Available Monday to Friday, between 08h00 to 17h00 (excluding public holidays)

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