How The New Demerit System Will Affect You

Dubbed by some as some kind of “nightmare”, the Aarto Act was passed in August 2019 with the aim of providing consequences for motorists unable to abide by the law.

Black matte sports car.
Black matte sports car. ParabolStudio / Shutterstock.com

If we thought the VAT increase, petrol price hikes and sin tax was enough- brace yourself for another excessive expense. With the introduction of the new demerit system, South African motorists can expect to pay exorbitant penalties should they ‘step out of line’.

But how is the government able to get away with, once again, overcharging their citizens in order to salvage their own mistakes?

With the new Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Act of course!

What is the AARTO Act?

Dubbed by some as some kind of “nightmare”, the Aarto Act was passed in August 2019 with the aim of providing consequences for motorists unable to abide by the law. This act comes in the form of the new demerit system many have been talking about.

In an early analysis, civil society group Outa said that the new regulations had created an ‘administrative nightmare’.

“Our initial assessment of the amended regulations is that Aarto is an administrative nightmare for both motorists accused of infringements and officials who must implement the regulations,” it said.

3 Problems with The New Aarto Act:

  1. Exorbitant Driving Penalties

Regardless of the ridiculous asking price of a fine, motorists will be required to pay an extra R100 over and above their initial fine. This extra charge is being called an ‘infringement penalty’ and motorists will be required to pay for each infringement they commit.

Although many of us try and wangle our way out of paying the full amount of the initial fine proposed, this infringement penalty will not be reduced and will be required to be paid in full regardless of the reduction in the actual fine fee.

  1. Over 2055 Infringements and Offenses

Yes you read this correctly, according to the 2008 infringement and offenses list, there are in fact 2055! This makes being a motorist in South Africa an almost impossible task. Although this might look like the traffic department is trying to get themselves together here, each infringement carries up to five demerit points per case and six per case of offense.

If this boggles your mind, get this. You will be required to pay to view your infringements report. SA motorists will have to pay between R60-R240 to check their demerit infringement reports, this is according to Outa.

  1. Don’t forget about the E-tolls

To read more about how many points outstanding E-toll fines will cost you click here.

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