AARTO demerit system set for mid-2025 launch, dealers urged to up admin game – NADA

Image of National Automobile Dealers' Association (NADA) chairperson Brandon Cohen

Brandon Cohen

19th June 2024

By: Irma Venter

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor


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Government aims for the system that will see road users accrue demerit points for road traffic offences to kick off in the middle of next year, says National Automobile Dealers' Association (NADA) chairperson Brandon Cohen.

Within this long-delayed system, drivers can get 15 demerit points before their licences are suspended.

Demerits are awarded for a range of traffic offences, as described under the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (AARTO) Act.

Drivers will be able to cut their demerit points through good behaviour.

The demerit system was supposed to kick off in September this year.

If a driver’s licence is suspended three times, the licence will be scrapped and the driver has to restart from the learner’s licence phase.

Speaking at a #NADAConnect event in Cape Town, Cohen on Wednesday urged dealerships to sharpen their administrative skills and for staff to ensure that they were at all times aware of who was driving what vehicle, also in terms of customer test drives.

Should the dealership be unable to redirect any infringement notice to a specific person, AARTO allowed for the demerit points to accrue to the vehicle, in what Cohen believed might be a first in the world.

“Think about how quickly a test vehicle can get 15 demerit points,” said Cohen. “Speeding is three points; speeding way over the limit is six points.”

“Fifteen points and that car is done. You cannot sell it and you cannot drive it until that vehicle wins back the points at a rate of one point each month.

“You need to know who drive this vehicle so that you can allocate it to the correct person."

Cohen also noted a number of questions that still required fine-tuning, including whether a person with a suspended driver's licence could get access to vehicle financing and insurance.

"You still have your licence, but it is suspended. Who is going to check this, and how are we going to check this?" he asked. "These are the things we have to plan for in the next year."

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter


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