Demerit points system drivers

Photo: Unsplash

SA drivers will be hit by ‘demerit points’ from 2021 – here’s what will change

Huge changes are coming to the policing of our roads next year, and the soon-to-be-introduced ‘demerit points system’ will sting careless drivers.

Demerit points system drivers

Photo: Unsplash

Reckless drivers have got another nine months before the rules of the roads come down on them like a ton of bricks: The ‘demerit points system’ will come into effect from next year, as revealed by a recently published document in the Government Gazette – and some major changes are in store for the motorists of Mzansi.

Put your seatbelts on, it could get bumpy for drivers in 2021

The demerit points system totals-up the number of offences committed by each driver, considering the severity of each action. Drivers can also be fined for some infringements, but if they clock too many ‘demerit-worthy’ transgressions within a short period of time, motorists will find themselves briefly disqualified from driving.

Many systems across the world rely on a ‘points-based system’ to assess the competence of each road user. South Africa may be playing catch up, but as these new rules show, the government intends to make up for the lost time.

Demerit points for drivers – how the laws will change in SA

  • Phase one of the demerit points system will be rolled out in July 2021.
  • This means drivers can be penalised for speeding, running red lights, ignoring road signs, and ‘dangerous overtaking’.
  • A car’s roadworthiness can also cause lead to a penalty – fault breaks, lamps and uninflated tyres could cost you points.
  • Demerit points for a single offence range from one to six, depending on the severity of the incident.
  • You get one point knocked off your demerit list for every three months you go without a penalty.
  • It would take three months to lose one point, six months to lose two points, nine months to lose three points etc…
  • You are allowed to rack up a maximum of 15 points on your licence.
  • But, for every point over the 15-mark you go, it will add a three-month suspension onto your license.
  • You are allowed two disqualifications, but upon a third disqualification, your driving licence will be revoked. You’ll then have to reapply for a new learner’s licence after your disqualification period finishes.

Demerit points: South Africa’s to face ‘phased approach’

Phase one will ultimately determine if the greater rollout of a demerit points system is warranted. In the second phase, penalties for infringements like cross-border road transport permits, operating licenses, and the failure to pay licence fees will hit commercial businesses.

Phase three, if implemented, will punish drivers for parking offences and the failure to update their personal details with the relevant authorities. The costs for each offence listed – and how many points they can add to your licence – will be officially decided next year.