Aarto demerit system could include errant learner drivers

The Road Traffic Infringement Agency says the adjudication of road traffic offences law must apply to all those who get behind the wheel.

Traffic in Sandton.  Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

PARLIAMENT - Errant learner drivers could receive demerit points even before they apply for driver's licences under a new traffic offences law.

The Road Traffic Infringement Agency (RTIA) says this is due to the high number of fatal accidents learner drivers are involved in.

The agency briefed Parliament’s transport portfolio committee on refinements to the demerit system proposed under the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (Aarto) amendment bill.

The RTIA says the administrative adjudication of road traffic offences law must apply to all those who get behind the wheel.

It’s proposing the names of learner drivers be recorded in a special register.

They will have to attend a rehabilitation programme to remove their demerits before they can apply for a driver’s licence.

Similarly, those who drive without licenses and foreign drivers who commit traffic violations in South Africa will also have their names recorded.

The RTIA’s Thabo Tsholetsane says, “Those whose licences have been suspended and they commit an offence, they will be arrested and taken to court.”

Under the new law, all infringements will attract demerit points, but rehabilitation programmes to reduce them faster will be voluntary.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)