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Aarto - how the demerit points work

File picture: Henk Kruger / Cape Argus.

File picture: Henk Kruger / Cape Argus.

Published Mar 18, 2016


Kimberley - Habitual traffic offenders will very quickly rack up the “points” ... and have their driver’s licences suspended or even cancelled (after three strikes) when the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offenders (Aarto) Act comes into effect.

This was the message to all stakeholders at the Northern Cape “Sihamba Ne Aarto” Provincial Roadshow held at the Hoffe Park Recreation Hall on Thursday morning.

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While the official date of implementation is yet to be announced, chief operating officer of the Road Traffic Infringement Agency (RTIA), Thabo Tsholetsane, explained that the Aarto Act aims to reduce the high rate of traffic accidents by rewarding compliant road users and taking action against reckless drivers by imposing demerit points.

'Draconian' demerit law ready to go

“Non-compliance to traffic laws is adding to the number of accidents and fatalities on our roads and habitual offenders act with impunity as there are no real measures to deter them,” he said.

Once the Aarto Act comes into effect, all drivers will start with a balance of zero with between one and six points being issued depending on the severity of the offence.


Lesser transgressions, including failing to yield for pedestrians, overtaking across a barrier line and driving while holding a cellphone, will result in a monetary fine and a single demerit point.

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Exceeding the speed limit will result in a minimum of two points while the maximum of six demerits will be handed down to anyone found guilty of driving under the influence, travelling at or over 100km/h in a 60km/h zone, or exceeding 120km/h in an 80km/h zone.

Demerit points will be allocated to both drivers and vehicles and will be incurred when payment is made for the infringement, when found guilty of an infringement in court or when an enforcement order is served.

Upon exceeding 12 points, the vehicle or driver’s licence, professional driver’s permit or operator card will be suspended for a period in months equal to three times the number of demerits exceeding the 12 point limit.

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In the case of a first and second time suspension, a point will be regained every three months while a third suspension will see the culprit required to redo their learner’s and driver’s tests afresh.

“The final readiness assessment of traffic authorities has been completed and laws compelling motorists to provide accurate addresses are in place,” Tsholetsane said.

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“Transport Minister Dipuo Peters has pronounced that the implementation should happen this year.”

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