Why You Can’t Afford to be a Bad Driver

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Drive Well or Pay the Price

With the coming AARTO points system probably being introduced in the near future in one form or another it is clear that if you are a SA driver you are soon going to run into difficulty if you regularly break the traffic laws. And there are hefty fines to go with the new points system which will quickly push your budget over the edge.

At present, the AARTO bill sits with the President and his advisors but has met a lot of opposition from various parties. It took a long time to get people in Parliament to agree to the current wording. If everyone can agree and if the President signs it will soon become law.

‘if you are a SA driver you are soon going to run into difficulty if you regularly break the traffic laws’

You have to Prove You Didn’t Break the Law

A change to how things also worked in the past is that the onus to prove you are innocent now rests with you as the driver. If someone else was driving then you have a short window of opportunity to tell the Traffic department or you will be liable for the fine yourself anyway. If you should not have received the fine for some reason then you need to prove that reason (as opposed to them proving you did it).

Pay Quickly

If you do receive a fine, then you can get a massive reduction on the amount owed if you pay promptly(as much as 50%). Leave it too late and you will have to pay the full amount no matter what.

Offences & Fines

If you lose 12 points you will not be able to drive until you get those points back. This is called having your licence suspended. During this time you are not allowed to drive. Getting points back happens slowly over time. You get one point back every 3 months.

If you accumulate 12 demerit points you will be banned from driving for 3 months. If you overshoot the 12 point limit you will be penalised an additional 3 months for every point over the 12th. So, if you get 13 points (only one over) you will be banned from driving for 3 months plus an additional 3 months but if you get 14 points you will not be allowed to drive for 9 months (3 + 6 months).

You may be wondering how many points you might lose if you go through a stop sign or if you are driving a bit too fast in a 60Km zone. Below you will find the current list of offences and fines.

Common offences and ones related to licenses:

Offence Punishment
Driving an unregistered vehicle R500 fine,    1 point
Driving an unlicensed vehicle R500 fine,    1 point
Driving when license plate isn’t visible R500 fine,    1 point
Driving without a license R1 250 fine, 4 points
Not wearing a seatbelt while driving R250 fine,    0 points
Drunk driving No fine set,  6 points
Driving while using a cell phone R500 fine,    1 point

Failure to acknowledge stop signs:

Offence Punishment
Skipping a stop sign (cars) R500 fine, 1 point
Skipping a stop sign (buses, trucks) R750 fine, 2 points
Running a red light (cars) R500 fine, 1 point
Running a red light (buses, trucks) R750 fine, 2 points
Failure to let a pedestrian cross R500 fine, 1 point

Speeding and overtaking:

Offence Punishment
Doing 81 – 99km/h in a 60 zone R750 fine,     2 points
Doing 100km/h+ in a 60 zone No fine set,   6 points
Doing 106 – 119km/h in an 80 zone R1 000 fine,  3 points
Doing 120km/h+ in an 80 zone No fine set,   6 points
Doing 121 – 130km/h in a 100 zone R750 fine,     2 points
Doing 131 – 139km/h in a 100 zone R1 250 fine,  4 points
Doing 140km/h+ in a 100 zone No fine set,   6 points
Doing 131 – 140km/h in a 120 zone R250 fine,    0 points
Doing 141 – 150km/h in a 120 zone R750 fine,    2 points
Doing 151 – 159km/h in a 120 zone R1 250 fine, 4 points
Doing 160km/h+ in 120 zone No fine set,  6 points
Overtaking on a solid line (cars) R500 fine,   1 point
Overtaking on a solid line (buses, trucks) R750 fine,   2 points

3 Times and You’re Out

Should you go over the 12 point limit and get suspended 3 times you will lose your drivers licence and have to go and get a learners licence again and start from scratch (and pay all the associated costs in time and effort). Drive after having your licence destroyed and you face being both imprisoned and fined.

Drive Well

If you are under debt review then you should be looking to stick closely to your budget each month. Your Debt Counsellor will not have factored traffic fines into your budget. Having to pay a fine will mean cutting expenses elsewhere that you will surely not be able to afford.

So, the moral of the story is to make sure you stick to the law and make sure that you do not face any nasty fines.

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