The Demerit System is based on similar systems in Australia and the United Kingdom, and has been adapted to meet local needs.

After years of chopping and changing, the South African driver Demerit System could finally be implemented this year.

The Demerit System, which was signed into law in September 1998, is based on similar systems in Australia and the United Kingdom, and has been adapted to meet local needs.

The proposed system has been delayed for several years pending, among other reasons, a feasibility study and an assessment of technological requirements, law enforcement criteria and an analysis of human resources needed to ensure the successful implementation of the system.

How will the Demerit System work?

The Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (AARTO) system will be implemented and managed by the Road Traffic Infringement Agency (RTIA).

  • According to Arrive Alive, each driver will start out with zero points (irrespective of the number of classes of vehicle licences held)
  • Points are allocated according to infringements or offences committed
  • Points are allocated on the date a penalty is paid or when the person is convicted of the offence (as the case may be)
  • Operators receive points separately from their drivers (i.e. a transport company receives points allocated to the operators permit)
  • When you reach 13 points and more, the licence (and / or operator card) is suspended with effect from 32 days after the maximum points (12) have been reached
  • The suspension period is calculated in months equal to the number of points exceeding 12, multiplied by three (or such number as may be prescribed by the Minister of Transport)
  • The number of points added will depend on the severity of the offence
  • The driver / operator may apply for the return of the licence on expiry of the suspension (disqualification) period
  • A driver / operator who is disqualified for the third time will permanently lose the licence / operator card and will have to reapply for testing and issue (as if a first time licence / operator applicant) after expiry of the disqualification period
  • Demerit points will be reduced (for all persons / operators) at a flat rate of one point per every three months (or as otherwise prescribed), except in the case where evidence points to the fact that the process has been deliberately delayed to obtain a reduction in points.

Article credit and points system example