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Thread: New demerit system-New driving points system hits the road

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    Silver Member Candy Bouwer's Avatar
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    New demerit system-New driving points system hits the road

    Details of South Africa's tough new measures to remove dangerous drivers from the road by suspending or revoking their licences have been revealed.

    The new system will be introduced in Pretoria on September 1 and then extended throughout the country.

    Every driver will be awarded 12 points. If you lose those points through 12 demerits in a year, your licence will be suspended. After three suspensions, your licence will be cancelled.

    So strict are the new regulations that you could have your driver's licence suspended immediately if, for example:
    · You're caught speeding.
    · You're not wearing a seatbelt.
    · Your car's tail lights are not in working order.
    · You left your licence at home.

    And in addition to losing your licence, you will be slapped with a stiff fine.

    National Transport Department official Ndivhuwo Mabaya said each motorist would be allocated 12 points at the beginning of each year.

    If he or she remained penalty-free at the end of the year, the next year would kick off with an additional 12 points plus a bonus point - a total of 25.

    This process would be repeated every year, with the result that good drivers would be rewarded by building up a bank of bonus points. Conversely, points will be deducted for offences committed during each year.

    However, don't think you can build up, say, five years worth of brownie points as a safeguard against any serious traffic offence you might commit in the future - such as drunken driving, excessive speeding or running over a pedestrian while you're inebriated.

    In the case of major traffic violations, the law will continue to take its normal course and you will end up in court to face the music.

    And, if found guilty, you're almost certain to lose all your carefully hoarded points as well.

    Traffic officials also stress that the entire system is in a trial-and-error development phase and will be tweaked and fine-tuned continuously as the need arises in the years ahead.

    The new demerit system, based on a highly successful Australian model, has been made possible by the introduction of the card-format driver's licences which enable traffic authorities to store the record of every driver.

    Demerits will be rated according to a unit scale.

    For example, if a motorist is found with an unregistered vehicle, he will be docked two demerit points from his 12 points and get 10 penalty units which means a fine of R500.

    Not having your driver's licence with you also costs two demerits and a R500 fine.

    If you are caught not wearing a seatbelt, you will get one demerit and pay a R250 fine.

    Traffic infringements that will cost drivers three demerits include not stopping at a stop sign and overloading by more than 25 percent.

    Overloaders will be penalised by 25 penalty units - a fine of R1 250.

    Those caught speeding repeatedly will be especially hit with hefty fines and demerits.
    · If you are caught doing up to 20 percent over the speed limit, you will get a fine of R250, but no demerit points - for example speeding up to 72km/h in a 60km/h zone or up to 144km/h in a 120km/h zone.
    · If you are 21 percent to 30 percent over the speed limit you will get one demerit point and a R500 fine - for example travelling up to 78km/h in a 60km/h zone or up to 156km/h in a 120km/h zone.
    · If you are 31 percent to 45 percent over the speed limit you get two demerit points and a R750 fine - for example up to 87km/h in a 60km/h zone or 174km/h in a 120km/h zone.
    · If you are 46 percent to 60 percent over the speed limit you are docked three demerit points and fined R1 250 - for example doing up to 96km/h in a 60km/h zone or up to 192km/h in a 120km/h zone.
    · Doing more than 60 percent over the limit will mean the driver will go straight to court where the magistrate will determine the fine - and four demerit points will be deducted.

    Motorists who have not converted to the new card format have already lost their licences and will have to be re-tested if they want to drive again.

    "Ouch"!!!!!
    Last edited by Dave A; 28-Jun-08 at 10:44 AM.
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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    I think it's people that are listed as proxies for companies that are going to have to really pay attention to this.

    Your licence could be docked for company driver transgressions
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Found this page on the SAVRALA site dealing with the roadside arrests issue. Interesting.

    It also highlights the problem for proxies.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    I see this is now a lot closer to implimentation.
    The Administration and Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Act (AARTO) demerit system will kick off as a pilot project on Tuesday, July 1, in Tshwane municipality and the official launch will take place on July 3.

    The pilot implementation will be extended to Johannesburg on November 1, 2008, and the department envisages that KwaZulu-Natal will be next on the list in December should everything go as planned.

    Department of Transport spokesperson Collen Msibi said drivers who have accumulated 12 points are in the danger zone.

    "The lowest demerits are for not wearing seatbelts, while speeding and drunken driving could go up to the maximum 12 points. Every person starts with zero points and the maximum permissible number of points is 12. When the person exceeds 12 points this results in a three-month suspension of the licence.

    "After the three-month period the person will still have 12 points and will be expected to act lawfully as any further points will result in another suspension. So if a person has 12 points and his licence is suspended after a further point is added, he will be standing at 12 points again which means he will have to tread very carefully.

    "Even an offence like not wearing a seatbelt could result in another suspension.

    "If the offender, over the next three months, behaves lawfully with no demerit points, then he will have one point subtracted. This will continue every three months. A licence is cancelled when it has been suspended for the third time," said Msibi.
    full story from IOL here
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Gold Member daveob's Avatar
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    well I have to be honest here - the last time I was pulled over for anything was about 1987, so other than speeding, when would I be docked points ?

    In fact, since I have not been pulled over for the last 21 years, chances are that I could easily drive without a licence anyway, in which case I wouldn't give a damn about the demerits. And if I am caught, would the fines be any more than that for a similar offense by a licenced driver ?

    Looks like an attempt to control and put the fear of God into the law abiding. Maybe the money for this new system would be better spent on detecting illegal drivers and unroadworthy vehicles.

    I wonder if the "immediate roadside payment scheme" would be regulated to a set value per demerit point ? Say R 200 per point's worth of offence.

    Just my 2 cents.
    Watching the ships passing by.

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    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
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    Here is the website for more info, www.aarto.co.za.

    I think the area where this could really make a big impact, and where it should be monitored and enforced the most closely is for commercial drivers (i.e. buses, taxis, trucks, etc.)

    I think that they should also introduce remedial classes which could be attended to reduce your points. It would be nice if anyone who went over their allotted 12 points was mandated to attend some sort of driving instruction class as a part of their penalty.
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    Could this affect you business?

    When an employee gets a speeding fine, the fine is "Addressed" in the name of the M.D. as the "responsible party" Can you imagine if all the demerit points are taken against the M.D.?

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    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yvonne View Post
    When an employee gets a speeding fine, the fine is "Addressed" in the name of the M.D. as the "responsible party" Can you imagine if all the demerit points are taken against the M.D.?
    No need to stress Yvonne, there is a system for nominating the driver. From the AARTO site,

    You have to nominate a driver in the first 32 days after receiving a infringement notice and before a courtesy letter is issued. You have to be able to provide his or her full names, residential and postal address, telephone numbers, and a copy of the driver's I.D.

    In fact as a vehicle owner you are guilty of an offence if you allow someone to use your vehicle without obtaining the driver’s details and a copy of the I.D.
    Interesting little note at the end there...

    It could affect your business (and their livelihood) if your drivers' licenses are suspended. In terms of labour law, what happens then? They are suddenly unable to fulfil their employment requirements - what can you do?
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    Moderator IanF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by duncan drennan View Post
    It could affect your business (and their livelihood) if your drivers' licenses are suspended. In terms of labour law, what happens then? They are suddenly unable to fulfil their employment requirements - what can you do?
    The law of unintended consequences is a bitch
    Only stress when you can change the outcome!

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    My thought:

    If the job is to be a driver, then having a valid drivers licence is a condition of the job. Lose the drivers licence and wave goodbye to the job.

    However, let's say the job is one of sales rep, which involves driving to meetings etc. The driving requirement is secondary to the primary activity. So the sales rep could hire a driver and still function.

    Of course, how CCMA might view this is another story
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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