It was meant to make South African roads safer by punishing drivers who consistently break the law. Demerit after demerit would be issued, until a motorist would lose their license and they’d be off the road and no longer a danger to society.
It makes sense in a country where 14 000 people die every year due to road accidents that authorities would want to do something to do what they can to make things safer.
Yet the rollout of the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (Aarto) Act – the law designed to do just that – has been basically a car crash, experts say. By many accounts, it’s impractical, unworkable and has been designed simply to rake in money from fines.