Recent talk is suggesting the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (AARTO), or as it is more commonly known, the point system, will be fully implemented in 2018. Its implementation faced many difficulties since it was first tabled in parliament in 1998. Most people dismissed the possibility of full implementation ever happening but this may soon change.
Where does this leave motorists?
The managing director of MasterDrive, Eugene Herbert, says drivers should brush up on their driving skills. “The system is not merely meant to punish law breakers but change driver behaviour all together. South Africa has a culture of drivers who push the boundaries. Punishments are not severe enough to create any real fear of the consequences. Now drivers need to break these habits and place more importance on safe and responsible driving.”
Each person starts with a 0 point balance. Every time you are caught committing a traffic offence points are added according to the offence’s seriousness. Once you have 13 points your license is suspended for three months. For every three offence-free months, one point is deducted from your balance. If your license is suspended three times, it can be cancelled.
Where does this leave businesses?
AARTO can have serious ramifications on businesses. “Harsher consequences for traffic offences mean harsher consequences for your business. If a driver is suspended they cannot drive for you anymore leaving you to source and train new drivers. Additionally, if the driver accumulates points in their private capacity it will affect your business operations as well.
“Business owners need to also be aware that the owner of the vehicle is held responsible for demerits unless you notify RTIA that someone else was driving. This also creates a larger administrative burden and requires changes to employment contracts.”
How can you prepare?
Businesses, particularly, should be preparing for it before implementation. “A substantial amount of administration requirements need to be in place before implementation to protect your fleets. It’s for this reason that MasterDrive launched its latest programme (with updated legislation) to specifically deal with AARTO. It helps every fleet owner/manager understand what the pending legislation means for them,” says Herbert.
To find out more about how you can get ready for AARTO implementation, visit www.masterdrive.co.za. You can join their AARTO programme to best prepare your business.
Examples of demerits
Driving offence Offence details Demerit points
Exceeding the speed limit 120 in a 60km/h zone 6 demerits
Exceeding the speed limit 120 in a 80km/h zone 6 demerits
Failure to obey a road sign Failing to stop at a stop sign 2 demerits
Driving license No or expired driving license 4 demerits
Driving under the influence DUI or drugs 6 demerits
Overloading Between 12 and 13.9% overloaded 5 demerits