The AARTO Bill is not for from full enactment and the new South African road rules encompassed in it are likely to change the way we drive in this country.
Do you know how the new legislation will alter your experience as a driver and vehicle owner? Here are the most important things to be mindful of:
If you are someone who has a tendency to exceed the speed limit or park in places you shouldn’t and then ignore the resulting fines, you are in for a tougher time. First of all, according to the new law, failure to pay fines will prevent you from being able to renew your driver’s licence and vehicle licence. You will have to settle any outstanding fines, as well as administration fees and penalties before you can obtain a new licence.
The long-mooted demerit system will finally come into effect. A variety of traffic offences will then lead to a driver having points deducted. Depending on the nature and severity of the offence, between one and six points can be deducted. If a driver loses more than 12 points, their driver’s licence will be suspended. Three suspensions will result in a permanent cancellation.
Until now, it was necessary for fines and other documents to be delivered to an infringer by hand and in person. This gave drivers a lot of leeway as they could plausibly deny having received any fines. Now, however, it will be legal for authorities to deliver documentation via email, WhatsApp and SMS.
In order to adjudicate the new system and handle public appeals against fines and citations, an Appeals Tribunal will be established. All issues arising from the new legislation will be addressed by this body.
Now Read How to Save Money on Car Rentals
Another piece of legislation currently being mulled over in parliament is the Road Accident Benefit Scheme Bill, which is intended to overhaul the existing Road Accident Fund (RAF). The biggest change here is that the new system will be a “no-fault” one, i.e. all people involved in accidents will be entitled to compensation, not only those persons who are found not to have caused the accident. The state-supported insurance fund remains highly controversial and is unlikely to be signed into law soon, as the various legal disputes continue.
The future of Gauteng’s controversial e-tolling system has still not been decided. Finance Minister Tito Mboweni has insisted that the improvements to the road network in the country’s most populous and busiest province need to be funded somehow, so tolls cannot simply be done away with. The Department of Transport has tabled a number of possible solutions to the problem, none of which have been settled on by the government. For now, collections are still practically suspended but it looks like motorists may have to start playing again at some point in the near future.
Highway Bakkie Hire can offer you high-quality rental cars at affordable rates, and can always offer good advice regarding the new South African road rules. Browse our range of rental options or contact us for more information.