News Africa08 Mar 2021

South Africa:New traffic law aims to reduce motor accidents

08 Mar 2021

The implementation of the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (AARTO) Amendment Act is expected to reduce the number of fatalities on South Africa's roads as well as the cost of insurance.

The legislation, to take effect from 1 July, is set to address the carnage that sees the country lose 13,000 lives on the roads annually, reported CAJ News.

“Stricter enforcement of driving regulations is to also be welcomed from an insurance perspective,” said Ms Christelle Colman, spokesperson for Old Mutual. She said long-term AARTO enforcement should impact favourably on the cost of insurance while reducing the number of unlicensed drivers and vehicles on South Africa’s roads.

Among other provisions, the new law introduces zero alcohol limits and a demerit system that suspends driving licences for three months for every demerit point above 12. In addition, it provides for traffic infringement notices to be served electronically. A penalty is imposed with infringement notice.

From and insurance perspective, drivers found to be driving with any alcohol in their blood and those who accumulate more than 12 demerit points – effectively losing their licence for a few months – will not be able to claim on their vehicle insurance policies.

Originally passed into law in 1998, the AARTO Act has been in force for more than 12 years in the jurisdictions of the Metropolitan Municipalities of Tshwane (from 1 July 2008) and Johannesburg (from 1 November 2008). The amended Act, however, will be applied nationwide.


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