What is NaTIS? It is the National Traffic Information System (hereafter referred to as “NaTIS”) which is a fairly new system that records and enforces the requirements of the National Road Traffic Regulations together with the National Road Traffic Act 93 of 1996. The information captured, is kept in a National Register.
Some important aspects of NaTIS include the registration and licensing of motor vehicles, which ensures that details of stolen vehicles are communicated and which in turn prevents fraudulent re-registration of stolen vehicles as well as applications for and the authorisation of Driving and Learner Licenses.
Now what is eNaTIS? It is the Electronic National Administration Traffic Information System (hereafter referred to as “eNaTIS”) and which refers to the digital age in which the Traffic Department is able to regulate the system for online usage. An important aspect of eNaTIS includes the Administrative Adjudication Of Road Traffic Offences System.
How does Demerit System work?
The Demerit System is regulated by the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Act 46 of 1998 (hereafter referred to as “AARTO”). AARTO has been amended a few times and the latest amendment includes the Demerit System. The new System introduced a Point System which will penalise Drivers for traffic violations. Its main focus is to encourage responsible driving habits and intends to penalise Habitual Offenders.
Traffic violations result in points being allocated to a Driver’s license. Once 12 points has been allocated, a Driver’s license will be suspended. However, should no violations occur within a period of three months 1 point will be deducted. Should a Driver’s license be suspended three times, the license will be permanently revoked.
It should be noted that it is possible to incur several demerit points in a single incident as the points awarded is per violation and not per incident.
Effect of the Demerit System on a business
AATRO has serious implications for the South African Transport Industry. This affects all Employees from Senior Management to that of the Entry- Level Driver. Should a Driver in the Transport Industry violate a traffic offence and his/her license is suspended, the business suffers loss in being unable to deliver on time. However, the business is not the only one that suffers loss. The Driver would normally either be given a warning for his/her misconduct, be demoted for being unable to drive, be dismissed for incapacity and/or retrenched for failing to comply with the operational requirements of the business.
This System could have devastating effects on Owner-Driver Employees in that they may stand to lose their livelihoods once their licenses have been suspended which could result in Fleet Operations being grounded.
The National Department of Transport sees the Demerit Point System “as a key resource to provide effective road traffic management”.
Drivers are to be aware of the Demerit Point System to avoid disciplinary action, either being suspended or dismissed. At SchoemanLaw we are able to provide you with expert advice on all your Employment related matters.
Written by Beata Warnich, SchoemanLaw