Motorists will soon have to adjust their driving style in order to keep our of trouble with the law!
Two major traffic laws come into effect in June 2020, according to Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula. These are the new Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (AARTO) Act as well as a new zero-tolerance approach to drinking and driving.
0% ALCOHOL LIMIT
Initially discussed in November 2019, Minister Mbalula has confirmed that motorists will no longer be permitted to mix alcohol and driving whatsoever. Simply put, a 0% legal blood-alcohol limit will be effected meaning that the presence of even the smallest trace of alcohol detected in anyone operating a motor vehicle will be illegal.
At present, South African legal limit is 0.05% and drivers who adhere to the stipulated alcohol unit permissible have been considered a within the legal alcohol limits. The new law however does away with this completely from June 2020.
According to Police Minister Bheki Cele, over 24, 000 people were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol over the 2019/2020 festive season, a figure which translated to clost to one-third of all road related arrests made over the holiday period. This clearly shows just how dire the problem of drunk driving in our country is.
In addition to the zero tolerance for alcohol law, Minister Mbalula also confirmed that June 2020 will see the introduction of the AARTO system, in which all traffic fines dispensed throughout the country will carry the same penal value.
That said, not all infringements will result in demerit points as roughly half of the violations laid out in Schedule 3 of the AARTO regulations do not bear any demerit points at all.
The AARTO system stipulates that a drier may incur no more than 12-demerit points on their license. Should a driver incur a 13thpoint however, their license, would be suspended for a period of 3-months per every point over the 12 points ‘allowed’.
In spite of the criticism from organizations such as the AA and OUTA, Minister Mbalula remains undeterred and strongly warns motorists to prepare themselves for the introduction of the demerit system.
“We are going live. We take points. We take away your driver’s license. The President has signed this into law and now we are implementing it,” he said.