The implementation of the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (AARTO) Bill makes further progress in South Africa after amendments have been added.
Wheels24 cites a few things that South African motorists should know:
The driver demerit system
Drivers will begin with zero points to their name and if they exceed 12 points, they will face a three-month licence suspension. A three-time licence suspension will also mean that your licence will be cancelled.
Advocate Jackie Nagtegaal from Law For All says: "The updated version asserts that demerits will now be allocated per violation as opposed to per incident. This means that if you were speeding in an unregistered car, you will be penalised for both violations, for example.
Even though the demerit system was signed officially into law in 1998, it was delayed due to an "assessment of human resources required and an analysis of the technological necessities, amongst other reasons".
The introduction of an Appeals Tribunal
This is one of the most significant changes to the Bill as Nagtegaal adds: "This is a great addition because it means that motorists can challenge grievances as the panel will hear and adjudicate their appeals. Furthermore, if a still feels as though the tribunal’s decision is unjust, they can approach the High Court."
A car owner is also liable for the fine/punishment
Even if someone else was driving the vehicle, the registered owner of the vehicle will be responsible for any violation. The only exception is if the owner collects all information of the driver (full name, ID number, residential and business addresses and contact details).
The removal of Section 21 of the Act
On this topic, Nagtegaal mentions: "Previously, the Bill allowed for the imposition of a combination of harsh punishments for non-compliant offenders, which included seizing the driver’s licence, removing the vehicles licence disc and impounding the vehicle in question all at the same time… this will no longer be the case."
If Parliament is satisfied with these proposed changes, the Bill will be handed over to The National Council of Provinces. If it is approved by the council, AARTO could be implemented as soon as the end of the 2017/2018 financial year.