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.
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.
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.