South Africa’s driver demerit system will be launched in April 2016, according to a report by Wheels24.
According to the report, the system was signed into law in September 1998 as part of the AARTO Act.
The system, which is based on ones used in Australia and the UK, has been delayed since then due to “a feasibility study, an assessment of technological requirements, and an analysis of human resources”.
The demerit system will penalise South African drivers who break the law, which could result in their driver’s licence being suspended or revoked.
The AARTO system will be managed by the Road Traffic Infringement Agency. It will oversee the demerit system – which works as follows:
  • A driver starts with zero points.
  • Demerit points are allocated according to offences committed.
  • Points are allocated on the date a fine is paid or when the person is convicted of the offence.
  • Operators receive points separately from their drivers.
  • When you reach 13 points or more, your licence is suspended with effect from 32 days after the maximum points were reached.
  • The suspension period is calculated in months equal to the number of points exceeding 12, multiplied by three.
  • The driver may apply for the return of the licence after the suspension.
  • A driver who is disqualified three times will lose their licence and will have to take their driver’s test again.
  • Demerit points will be reduced at a rate of one point per every three months.

Demerit system – points allocation

The table below details how many points a driver will lose per offence, as per the Road Traffic Infringement Agency’s regulations.
Infringements and demerit points
InfringementFine amountDemerit points
Licences and miscellaneous
Driving an unregistered vehicleR5001
Driving an unlicensed vehicleR5001
Driving a vehicle with licence plate not visibleR5001
Driving without a driving licenceR1,2504
Driving without a seat beltR2500
Driving under influence of intoxicating substanceDetermined by court6
Driving while holding and using a cellphoneR5001
Failing to stop
Skipping a stop sign (light vehicles)R5001
Skipping a stop sign (buses, trucks)R7502
Skipping a red light (light vehicles)R5001
Skipping a red light (buses, trucks)R7502
Failing to yield to a pedestrianR5001
Overtaking and overloading
Overtaking across a barrier line (light vehicles)R5001
Overtaking across a barrier line (buses, trucks)R7502
Overloading a vehicle with max 56,000kg combination mass by 12-13.99%R1,5005
81-85km/h in a 60km/h zoneR7502
100km/h+ in a 60km/h zoneDetermined by court6
106-110km/h in an 80km/h zoneR1,0003
120km/h+ in an 80km/h zoneDetermined by court6
121-125km/h in a 100km/h zoneR7502
131-135km/h in a 100km/h zoneR1,2504
140km/h+ in a 100km/h zoneDetermined by court6
131-135km/h in a 120km/h zoneR2500
141-145km/h in a 120km/h zoneR7502
151-155km/h in a 120km/h zone1,2504
160km/h+ in a 120km/h zoneDetermined by court6