finesAs from June 2020 the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Act (herein after the Act) will be fully operational in the country. While most have not heard about it before reading this item, it would be best suggested that motor-vehicle drivers familiarize themselves with the Act, paying special attention to the new demerit system to be applied.

As before, the Act recognizes fines being issued against motor-vehicle drivers where infractions are committed. For example, as per the materials set out by the Road Traffic Infringement Agency, if a motorist is caught driving without a license it could result in a fine of R1 250 and driving while holding and using a cellphone will result in a fine of R 500. Further, driving at a speed of between 106 km/h and 110 km/h in an 80 km/h will earn you a fine of R1 000.

Most notably, the newly approved Act will include the incorporation of a demerit system linked to one’s driver’s license. The way the point system will work is that there will be a pre-determined allocation of demerits based on the nature of the infraction committed. Once a driver obtains more than 12 points, his/her license will be suspended. In further explanation of the above, for every point earned by a driver over the 12 point threshold, such an identified driver will then have their license suspended for a period of 3 months. By way of example, driving without a license will earn 1 demerit and driving while under the influence of an intoxicating substance will accrue 6 demerits to your name. If one’s demerit score had to reach 14 points, technically your license will then be suspended for a period of 6 months (3 + 3).

As one can see, the new demerit system will result in a lot of administrative issues relating to calculations of amounts and adding up of points. Simply put, it would therefore be easier, instead of working out your demerit score after committing an infraction, to just not commit the offence in the first place.