New traffic amendment bill aimed at curbing offences
A NEW set of traffic laws and regulations has been passed as part of a bid to stop road deaths, all as part of the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (Aarto) Amendment Bill.
Minister of Transport Joe Maswanganyi welcomed the bill’s changes, which are aimed at discouraging infringements and reducing accidents and loss of life on South African roads.
Vehicle crash-related deaths are rising at an astonishing rate year on year. In 2014, there were 12 702 fatalities, in 2015 this increased to 12 994 and in 2016, 14 071 deaths were recorded – an alarming increase of 1 077 from the previous year.
Each driver should consider what he or she can doto help make safer roads a reality.
Each should take a look at their driving habits using apps like the Dialdirect Insurance App and become familiar with the new traffic law changes and their impact.
1) The demerit system – each driver starts on zero points. Each violation of a traffic law comes with its own number of demerit points. Reach 12 points and your licence could be suspended. Get three suspensions and your licence will be cancelled.
2) Centralisation of infringer information – with the creation of a National Road Traffic Offences Register, infringements and offences of every bad driver will be recorded.
3) Special appeals tribunal – legitimate grievances of motorists will be heard by this tribunal which will be responsible for adjudicating, hear- ing appeals and making judgments. If the person is not happy with the outcome, however, he/she may still appeal the tribunal’s decision in the High Court.
4) Registered owner always liable for fines – the only time this may not apply is if the owner can provide a list of specified details of the person who they allowed to drive their vehicle.
5) Removal of certain harsher punishments – the following will no longer be allowed: confiscation of non-compliant infringer’s driver’s licence; removing the licence disc from his/her vehicle; and immobilising his/her vehicle.
6) Rehabilitating offenders – this provides an opportunity to positively influence those drivers whose licences have been suspended or cancelled and re-educate them on the importance of complying with traffic laws.
7) Easy access to documents online – road users will be able to check the status of their infringements at any time. This service not only has a convenience benefit but also a financial one, reducing costs for both the State and road users.
With the launch of its driving monitoring app, DialDirect Insurance has said it is encouraged by the new changes in law.
“As much as it is your responsibility to adhere to road rules and traffic laws, you also need to know what your rights are as a motorist and how to exercise them. That means keeping up to date with any changes and their implications,” said Warwick ScottRodger, executive head of Dialdirect Insurance.