South Africa’s new demerit system – How you lose points on your licence

The National Assembly has passed the latest Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences amendment bill.

The bill aims to introduce new road traffic violation rules, removing the courts from the AARTO process and replacing them with a dedicated authority.

The bill will now be directed to the National Council of Provinces for adoption, after which it will be signed by the President.

One of the major features of the bill is the implementation of a demerit points system, which will become active once the legislation has been adopted.

How the demerit system works

This system penalises drivers for traffic infringements using demerit points – with a demerit limit of 12 points.

If a driver’s total demerit points exceed 12, their licence is suspended for three months for every demerit point over 12.

Once a driver’s licence is suspended for the third time, it is cancelled and destroyed.

Drivers who continue to drive after their licence has been suspended are liable to a fine or imprisonment of up to one year.

The amount of demerit points a driver has accrued will reduce by one for every three months in which no demerits are incurred.

Demerit points

The applicable fines and demerits for traffic infringements are detailed below.

It is possible to accrue multiple demerit points in a single incident, as the points are awarded per violation.

Infringement Fine amount Demerit points
Licences and miscellaneous
Driving an unregistered vehicle R500 1
Driving an unlicensed vehicle R500 1
Driving a vehicle with licence plate not visible R500 1
Driving without a driving licence R1,250 4
Driving without a seat belt R250 0
Driving under influence of intoxicating substance Not set 6
Driving while holding and using a cellphone R500 1
Failing to stop
Skipping a stop sign (light vehicles) R500 1
Skipping a stop sign (buses, trucks) R750 2
Skipping a red light (light vehicles) R500 1
Skipping a red light (buses, trucks) R750 2
Failing to yield to a pedestrian R500 1
Overtaking and overloading
Overtaking across a barrier line (light vehicles) R500 1
Overtaking across a barrier line (buses, trucks) R750 2
Overloading a vehicle with max 56,000kg combination mass by 12-13.99% R1,500 5
81-85km/h in a 60km/h zone R750 2
100km/h+ in a 60km/h zone Not set 6
106-110km/h in an 80km/h zone R1,000 3
120km/h+ in an 80km/h zone Not set 6
121-125km/h in a 100km/h zone R750 2
131-135km/h in a 100km/h zone R1,250 4
140km/h+ in a 100km/h zone Not set 6
131-135km/h in a 120km/h zone R250 0
141-145km/h in a 120km/h zone R750 2
151-155km/h in a 120km/h zone R1,250 4
160km/h+ in a 120km/h zone Not set 6

Now read: New traffic laws will hit South African motorists hard – JPSA

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South Africa’s new demerit system – How you lose points on your licence