Telematics data can be used to set alerts to be notified when a driver is breaking laws.
Telematics data can be used to set alerts to be notified when a driver is breaking laws.
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The contentious Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (Aarto) bill is expected to be introduced in SA in June, and no matter how you feel about it, if you own a business it will affect you.

So says MD of Legratron Electronics, Itumeleng Matshego.

“Under the new bill drivers can be suspended from driving for up to three months and even have their driving licence cancelled altogether if they are suspended three times. Telematics data, however, can provide a way to avoid these negative consequences.

“Before Aarto’s implementation, you can use the data provided by telematics to identify drivers who may be at risk of collecting demerit points at a dangerous rate. Once you have identified the drivers, you can then take action that will rectify these problems before the bill is even in effect. This can be by providing further training, instituting harsher penalties for drivers who continue to disregard road rules and many other options.”

Once Aarto is implemented, telematics can also be used to better manage drivers and comply to the new regulations.

“Once again, you can use telematics data to set alerts to be immediately notified when a driver is breaking laws or taking risks. Should you need to take action against a driver that persists in driving irresponsibly, the telematics data can be used to do this.

“Aarto also requires businesses to keep track of infringements and reassign these to the personal record of the drivers if the fine was based on the licence plates of the vehicle rather than the driver’s licence. If this is not done, the business can face legal penalties itself.

"Telematics can be used to keep better track of drivers. While doing this may be par for the course for larger companies, this extra admin might be more challenging for smaller companies. Telematics data could be very valuable for these companies,” says Matshego.

According to Eugene Herbert, MD of  advanced driving school MasterDrive: "No business can risk their workforce being incapacitated by the consequences of bad driving behaviour.

“While no business is eager to take on the extra admin or consider what would happen if their drivers could no longer legally be on the roads, it is a folly not to do so. If you have not already implemented a road safety culture, start encouraging this attitude now. If you have and there are drivers who still receive fines periodically, consider further remedial action,” said Herbert. 

Transport minister Fikile Mbalula said the new Aarto law, which includes the long-awaited licence points demerit system, would be in full effect from June.

The act, which was signed into law by President Cyril Ramaphosa in August, aims to penalise repeat driving offenders with a demerit points system where drivers will start with 0 points and will be allowed to drive until they reach a maximum of 12 points.

The licences of drivers who exceed 12 points will be suspended for three months and licences that have been suspended more than three times will be cancelled.

Drivers can retake the learner’s and driver’s tests after the suspension has lapsed.

The law has been criticised by the AA and the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa), who have called the regulations complicated, costly and aimed at fundraising rather than road safety.