SA drivers beware: bad driving will soon get you demerits and a trip to rehab

SA drivers beware: bad driving will soon get you demerits and a trip to rehab

New road and traffic infringement rules are about to make things very interesting...

Demerits and rehab for bad drivers
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Traffic and driving laws have been in effect since the wheels of the first-ever car hit the road.

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Fine, that's not a fact but with many inventions and things involving human progress there usually are a few sets of rules that have to accompany the thing in order to maintain structure and not have the world turn to chaos. Fun.

Now whether or not everyone abides by these laws is a whole other issue altogether.

South Africa has another plan for tackling road safety.

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In 1998 the AARTO Act (Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences) was introduced and with the intention of taming the carnage on South African roads or even hopefully putting a stop to it.

Since then it has been extended and amended to impose even harsher penalties on the country's bad drivers. According to Business Insider, the AARTO enforcement has been trialled in Tshwane and Johannesburg since 2008 and has been managed by the Road Traffic Infringement Agency (RTIA).

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The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) has lodged a pending legal challenge with which they hope to rule the Act as unconstitutional but AARTO has come into effect this week and according to a media briefing by the department of transport on their launch day, they are still waiting for a presidential "proclamation notice" before the regulations will be properly implemented.

The AARTO regulations will also be introduced in a phased approach meaning there will be three different rollouts happening before the demerits and rehabilitation for bad drivers come into effect in July 2022 and June 2023.

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Phase 1 was launched on Thursday and will establish seven national service outlets which inform drivers of the enforcement processed. The National Traffic Information System (NaTIS) collecting AARTO payments. 

Phase 2 will identify 67 municipalities that will switch over to AARTO regulations while also deploying 18 service outlets. 

The third phase will have AARTO rolling out to the remaining 144 municipalities by July 2022 and the fourth and final phase is the one that has made everyone a bit nervous - the demerit system and driver rehabilitation centres but there will also be 20 self-service kiosks.

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 What exactly are the demerits and rehab system? Well, under the new Act anyone violating a traffic law will earn a demerit. If you have violated more than 1,000 traffic laws then you will have a total of 15 demerit points and unfortunately, that means that your license will be suspended.

It does not end there, however, those that have been identified as "habitual infringers", the drivers who have lost their licenses due to repeating infringements will have to go to rehab ad undergo the entire process where they earn their license back.

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Demerits and rehab don't sound like a lot of fun.

Maybe this is the motivation SA drivers need and hopefully, this will help everyone focus a bit more on what is happening on the roads.

Everyone should want to arrive alive right?

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Main image courtesy of iStock

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