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SA demerit system given the go-ahead for 2016


Get ready for a whole new way of punishing bad drivers. The much talked about demerit system is headed our way and reports suggest that it will be implemented later this year.

The objective of this system is to penalize drivers and operators who are guilty of infringements or offences by imposing demerit points. An accumulation of a maximum of 12 points will lead to suspension and eventual cancellation of driver’s licenses, professional driving permits or operator cards.

However, industry leaders and watchdogs are spilt on the effectiveness of the new system. According to Caro Smit, founder of South Africans against Drunk Driving (SADD): “I think the demerit system works extremely well in countries where enforcement and routine licence checking is done. In South Africa where, enforcement of our road safety rules is extremely poor and licences are seldom checked, or even legal, it is unlikely to make a great deal of difference, or bring down our exceptionally high crash rate”.

While it’s uncertain what this might do for your overall car insurance, other countries that have implemented this system have shown that each vehicle insurance company has approached the demerit differently. Generally, the trend is that the more infringement points allocated to the driver, the higher the premium on their insurance might become. So there’s more than your safety to think about when considering staying on the right side of the law.

Here are some important things that you need to know about the demerit system:

  • Each driver will start out with zero points and then points will be added onto that for each infringement or offence committed by the driver. After the maximum points (12) have been reached, the licence card will be suspended for 32 days;

  • Points are allocated according to infringements or offences committed;

  • The number of points/demerits added will depend on the severity of the offence and the driver may apply for the return of the licence once the suspension period expires;

  • A driver whose licence is suspended for the third time will lose his/her licence permanently and will have to reapply for testing and issue after the expiry of the disqualification period;

  • Drivers who have demerit points will be able to redeem their points with good behaviour. Demerit points will be reduced at a rate of one point per three months that a driver complies with the rules of the road;

  • Operators receive points separately from their drivers.

Do you think that this is a good thing or a bad thing? Let us know.

In Collaboration with: Dial Direct Insurance


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Posted by: Dennis Partridge
Submitted: 07-09-2017
How will this law be implemented with taxi drivers, or will they be exempt as they are from any other law. they take to the streets and block highways, and the law doesnt apply to them
Posted by: Admin replied to Dennis Partridge
Submitted: 07-09-2017
Dennis, it seems that there is a specific demerit score card for Public transporters with more severe deductions. We can only hope :-)