Tougher penalties for traffic offenders

Tougher penalties for traffic offenders

KwaZulu-Natal Transport authorities will be taking tougher action against motorists found on the wrong side of the law.

Police conducting big road block
Gallo Images

A driving demerit system which penalises those with traffic infringements is set to be rolled out in the province next year. 

Transport MEC Willies Mchunu says the number of crashes and fatalities has called for a change in legislation to effect tougher punitive measures to address the carnage on the province's roads. 

Mchunu says since September 2013, the province has seen an increase in road fatalities. In that year, there were 615 fatalities from 536 crashes. In 2015, statistics up to the month of August show that KwaZulu-Natal is already sitting at 714 deaths out of 629 crashes. 

Mchunu says the rollout of the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Act (Aarto) ties in with the province's road safety campaigns.

''Our laws are ridiculously accommodative of wrong doing on our roads. For instance, if you go out today and create an offence, you will get a ticket and will continue being issued with tickets for traffic offences. That does not seem to be punitive enough to ensure that road users use their consciences and stop what they have been doing on the roads,'' he said.

The legislation will among others penalise traffic law breakers through demerit points. All drivers will start at zero points. Those who exceed the maximum 12 points will have their drivers licence suspended for a month.

(File photo)

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