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News Room

5 Reasons Why The New Traffic Law Will Fail

Melissa Cohen
2017-09-13
The demerit system is expected towards the end of the year. Do you think the government is just trying to milk us? Will it succeed?
Just last week, Minister of Transport, Joe Maswanganyi announced the importance of the new traffic law imposed on citizens. This comes after the amendment of the 1998 Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (AARTO) Bill. Maswanganyi emphasized that the aim of the amendment is to reduce the "tremendous loss of lives, especially of young people, as well as the continued disregard of road traffic laws." Here are five reasons why the new system is sure to fail... Read more about the best and worst insurance companies in South Africa below

1. Way Too Many Unlicensed/Un-roadworthy Vehicles

The Road Traffic Management Corporation's Road Traffic Report between 1 January 2017 - 31 March 2017 explains the finer issues that are plaguing our roads. Here are some of the scary statistics from the report:
  • Un-roadworthy and unlicensed vehicles or both increased by 5 073. On 31 March 2016 there were 1 054 196. It increased to 1 059 196 on 31 March 2017;
  • Un-roadworthy but licensed vehicles increased by 2 727 from 545 580 on 31 March 2016 to 548 307 on 31 March 2017;
  • Unlicensed vehicles increased by 3 323 from 318 706 on 31 March 2016 to 322 029 on 31 March 2017.
These stats expose just how many problems our transport department faces. This will make the implementation of the new laws very difficult. They can't even seem assist in the reduction of un-roadworthy and unlicensed vehicles.

2. Definitely NOT A Money Saver!

The aim of the demerit system is to dish out points to drivers who commit infringements on the road. Each time you receive an infringement, you will be notified via email. You will then have 32 days to appeal this with the Appeals Tribunal. This aims at cutting out the expensive court battles. Before you are allowed to appeal your case, you are required to pay an additional fee which is decided by the Minister. If you refuse to pay this, then you can't plead your case.  This is yet again another way that the government is turning the demerit system into a money making whirlwind.

3. Traffic Cops Actually Have To Do Their Jobs

In order for the system to work properly, there has to be regular roadblocks. If you are stopped in a road block and you provide the officer with your license, there is no way that they will be able to tell whether or not your license has been suspended. The problem is - how often do the cops actually organise proper, consistent roadblocks? Writing out traffic fines is just much easier, isn’t it?

4. They Can't Catch Us!

Although the roadblocks might assist in demeriting drivers, South African drivers licenses aren't chipped. This means that cops aren’t able to access our previous infringement history. It is impossible for authorities to confiscate or suspend your license if you are caught in a roadblock. Super convenient, right?

5. Corruption... Say What?!

Our country faces the serious issue of corruption. This is going to threaten the integrity of the amendment, unlike the rest of our so-called "laws". It might work in countries abroad, but we need to remember that this country is plagued by corruption and dishonesty. This is sure to threaten the amendment, as well as future laws that are expected to be implemented. This bill is expected to be made national by the end of 2017/ early 2018. Watch this space... Have you been in an accident lately? Make sure you have the right car insurance to cover you today!  
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