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Points Demerit System


The National Department of Transport plan to introduce a Points Demerit System. Although the introduction of the system has been delayed till later in 2009; it is currently only run as a project in Tshwane.

Once it is up and running, it just may be the solution to changing the bad and dangerous habits of some South African drivers.

“The implementation of the points demerit system on the credit Card Format drivers licence, together with the roll–out of the Credit Card Format  licence, will have the effect of steadily taking both reckless and illegal or fraudulent driver’s off South Africa’s roads.”  (Address by minister of transport, dr.  AM Omar, to the Institute of Road Traffic Engineers, Cape Town, 14 December 1999.)

In terms of  the Administrative Adjudication of the Road Traffic Offences Act, 1999; a driver’s licence can be suspended when the driver runs out of points. Points will be deducted from a total of 12, depending on the severity of the offence. 


Violations will be categorised  in 3 classes:

  • Offences:    unlicenced driver: reckless driving (4 points)
  • Major Infringement: driving on right side of road (3) , overtaking when not allowed (3 ).
  • Infringement:   Inconsiderate driving, not giving driving signals (1point) using a cell phone while driving  (2 points)


The demerit points will be computerized and recorded against the driver. Twelve or more points will result in immediate suspension of a driver’s licence. Repeat offenders, whose licences are suspended 3 times, will loose their licence and will have to re-do their tests.


Traffic fine process


Infringement Notice: On receiving, via registered mail or served in person, a ticket (formally called an Infringement Notice), you have the following options within the first 32 days:
Pay a discounted penalty
Make a representation to the RTIA
Arrange to pay in monthly instalments
Nominate the driver of the vehicle
Elect to be tried in court

Courtesy Letter: After 32 days you will be served with a Courtesy Letter, requesting action within another 32 days (from the date of the Courtesy Letter). Your options are less since you cannot pay a discounted penalty any more. You will also have to pay an additional Courtesy Letter fee. On receiving a Courtesy letter you may within 32 days:
Make a representation to the RTIA
Arrange to pay in monthly instalments
Nominate the driver of the vehicle
Elect to be tried in court

Enforcement Order: If you do not respond to the Courtesy Letter, you will be served with an Enforcement Order. The Enforcement Order will demand that you pay your penalty, plus the Courtesy Letter fee, plus an additional Enforcement Order fee, within 32 days (from the date of the Enforcement Order). Demerit points will be allocated and recorded against your name. Once the Enforcement Order is served, you do not have any of the previous options left. The only option available to you is to:
Apply for revocation of an Enforcement Order

Warrant of Execution: If you do not respond in a satisfactory manner to the Enforcement Order, a Warrant will be issued and handed to a Sheriff for immediate execution. The Warrant may allow the Sheriff to:
Seize and sell your movable property to defray the penalty, fees and cost applicable.
Seize and deface your driving licence and/or professional driving permit.
Remove and deface the licence disks of all your vehicles.
If applicable, seize and deface the operator cards of all the vehicles for which you are the registered operator.
Immobilise all your vehicles.




Failing to keep left or encroaching on the right half of a roadway - 3 points and R1000 fine
Not ensuring all occupants wear their seat belt - 0 demerit points and R250Be a good driver and you'll get bonus points.
Vehicle not fitted with seat belts - 1 point and R500.
Carrying a person for reward in the goods department - 3 and R1000.
Motor vehicle displaying no number plates - 6 points and court.
Going straight in a turning-only lane - 1 point and R500.
Not yielding at a roundabout - 1 point and R500.
Not yielding right of way at a traffic island - 2 points and R750.
Illegal U-turn - 1 point and R500.
Pedestrian crossing road illegally - R100.
Not yielding to a pedestrian at a pedestrian crossing - 1 point and R500.
Jumping a red light - 2 points and R750.
Accelerating while being overtaken - 3 points and R1 000.
Failure to indicate when turning or changing lanes - 1 point and R500.
Keeping unsafe following distance - 3 points and R1 000.
Not giving way to an emergency vehicle - 1 point and R500.
Driving on a pavement - 1 point and R500.
Operating a cellphone without a hands-free kit - 1 point and R500.
Performing a wheelie on a motorcycle - 0 points and R250.
Spinning your wheels - 3 points and R1 000.
Tow-truck driver removing vehicle from accident scene without permission - 2 points and R750.
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs - 6 points, no option of admission-of-guilt fine.
Operating a vehicle without a licence - 4 points and R1250.
Not having driver's licence in possession while driving - 1 point and R500.
Failing to switch on motorcycle's lights during day - 0 points and R250.
Failing to switch on motorcycle's lights during night - 2 points and R750.
Using foglamps in good visibility - 2 points and R750.
Organising a race/sport on a public road without permission - 3 points and R1000.

71-75km/h - 0 demerit points and R250
76-80km/h - 1 demerit point and R500
81-85km/h - 2 demerit points and R750
86-90km/h - 3 demerit points and R1 000
91-95km/h - 4 demerit points and R1 250
96-100km/h - 5 demerit points and R1 500
100+km/h in a 60 zone - 6 demerit points, no option of admission-of-guilt fine.

The same scale applies to other speed zones, starting with R250 for 10-15km/h over the speed limit, with the admission-of-guilt limit set at 40km/h over the speed limit. Faster than that and you must appear in court.