by MTHULISI SIBANDA
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – THE enforcement of the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (AARTO) Bill is anticipated to reduce the deaths on South Africa’s roads and the cost of insurance.
To be enforced from June, the legislation is set to address the carnage that sees the country lose 13 000 lives on the roads annually.
“Stricter enforcement of driving regulations is to also be welcomed from an insurance perspective,” said Christelle Colman, spokesperson at Old Mutual.
Colman said over the long-term AARTO enforcement should also impact favourably on the cost of insurance while reducing the number of unlicensed drivers and vehicles on South Africa’s roads.
Moreover, the improved driver and vehicle data that AARTO has the potential to make available to the industry should, over the long term, “reduced the cost, increase the spread and maximize the positive impact of insurance in South Africa,” according to Colman.
While zero alcohol limits and a demerit system that suspends licenses for three months for every demerit point above 12 seems harsh, the official said these penalties were in line with similar legislation in Europe.
“As such, the system is not out of kilter with global norms,” she added.
From and insurance perspective, however, a zero-alcohol limit means that the vehicle policy of anyone found to be driving with any alcohol in their blood will not respond.
Similarly, drivers who accumulate more than 12 demerit points – effectively losing their license for a few months – will also not be able to claim on their vehicle insurance policies during these periods.
Colman concluded that all serious attempts to efficiently and fairly enforce existing legislation was overwhelmingly in the best interests of all South African road users and the insurance industry in general.
“The effective enforcement of AARTO also presents an opportunity to reduce the cost, extend the effectiveness and increase the number of individual vehicle insurance policies.”
President Cyril Ramaphosa has endorsed the AARTO Bill.
– CAJ News