What do the new traffic laws mean for SA drivers?

The amendment bill has some provisions that could have serious consequences for licence holders and motor vehicle owners across South Africa.

AARTO held public hearings prior to adding amendments to the bill, which is set up to remove habitual traffic offenders from South Africa’s roads and highways.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has also reportedly issued a countrywide instruction that all outstanding traffic fines issued in terms of the Criminal Procedure Act (CPA) should be cancelled after 18 months if no summons has been issued. This will apply to all South Africans who drive on behalf of companies.

Here are some of the provisions:

The bill will implement the points-demerit system

The points-demerit system comes in favour of driving traffic fine revenues for authorities but motorists will be have limited power to defend themselves should they receive a fine. Every driver starts with zero points and will have their licence suspended for three months if they exceed 12 points. The authorities will hold onto the drivers licence if it is suspended. The licence will be cancelled if a driver gets suspended three times.

The National Road Traffic Offenses Register

The bill calls for a designated authority to handle and keep records of all violations and infringements. Transport authorities claim that motorist fines will be increased.

Section 21 of the Act will be removed from the bill

The bill previously proposed a combination of harsh punishments for non-compliant offenders, which included seizing the driver’s licence, removing the vehicles licence disc and impounding the vehicle in question all at the same time but this section since been removed.

Car owners can also be held liable for violations

If a car owner lends their car to someone or was not the one driving when a offense happens, they will be liable for the fine unless they have gathered all the details of the driver (full name, ID number, residential and business addresses and contact details).

An Appeals Tribunal will be introduced

Motorists will be able to lodge grievances with an Appeals Tribunal that will hear and adjudicate their appeals and if they feel that the process wasn’t just they can take the matter further to the High Court.

The bill has been passed and could be implemented as soon as the end of 2017/2018 financial year.


Caxton Central

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